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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amazing Experience Monday

A week ago Sunday the PBS series "Nature" featured a wonderful show about hummingbirds.


I try to get out on a daily walk at work. The loop takes me down to a pond and marsh complex. The weather was so wonderful I think I saw more people out and about than I have on all the days this month.

As I was nearing the end of the trail by the marsh I heard a loud strong bird sound. I did not recognize the call but I thought it might be a blackbird of some kind so I stopped to watch for it.

In almost no time an Anna's Hummingbird appeared and shot straight up into the air.

I knew what was next thanks to the wonderful show linked above. Hummingbird males perform territory display, usually to court females. They race up high then dive towards their selected spot. At the bottom of their dive they make a characteristic sound, unique to their species. I am familiar with the common Rufus Hummingbird display. I had always thought they were vocal sounds but from the show I learned that it was air through the tail feathers.

Just like the old trick of blowing across grass blades.

The hummer performed three more dives and I was amazed with how loud the ending "Cheerup" sound was.

All of a sudden two other birds appeared and they had a fast set-to with bickering swooping and chasing.

I had to laugh and I said "Boys, it is only January. Pace yourselves"


  1. Just found your blog! You pictures are wonderful!

  2. Thank you I have had fun getting it going.

    I wish I could get out more but this time of year is challenging. i will be happy to get one good outing a weekend

  3. I love your depiction of the happy hummingbirds. For some reason I always think of them as boys, happy little fellows, hurrying along... ;)

  4. These three were for sure males, colors blazing.

    females tend to be so shy and quiet compared to feisty males.

    Makah whale hunters used hummingbird as one of their totem icons. There was always one in the boat or represented on the front