Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anna's Hummingbird

Because the Anna's Hummingbird thrives in urban settings, its range has expanded since the 1930s, when it occurred from northern Baja California to San Francisco. Now it reaches British Columbia and Texas. Last March, Erika and I found this individual along the northern California coast. This bird is named after the duchess of Rivoli. She and her husband owned the original specimens, which were collected by Lesson in 1829.

Although hummingbirds are not songbirds, this species' songs are "learned and complex" (Clark et al. 2012). As the males sing, they turn their heads from side to side, thus flashing their brilliant red heads. Females defend feeding territories separate from males. Pairs associate only to copulate--the female then makes the nest, incubates the eggs, and feeds the young.

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