Monday, December 14, 2020

Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbirds are one of the delights of winter in Washington. I photographed the female on 4 December 2020 and the male on 9 December. I have previously written about how this species, before the 1930a, nested only from northern Baja California to San Francisco. Now it breeds north to Vancouver Island, southern Arizona, and perhaps west Texas. Post-breeding vagrants appear even as far north as southern Alaska, Canada, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Records, mostly in the late summer and fall, exist from almost every state in the country. What caused this tremendous range expansion is unclear, but is probably due to a tendency to wander after breeding coupled with people planting exotic plants and providing winter hummingbird feeders. Here is an eBird summary of our backyard Anna’s Hummingbird records. The white blocks represent months of the year. We will have been here two years next March. I suspect our winter records will further fill in after we complete two years with hummingbirds becoming increasingly accustomed to our feeders. We do not know if our winter birds are the same individuals that breed here.

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