Sunday, October 11, 2015
This little male showed up in our yard only a few days ago. I had seen the female around for awhile so I was delighted when I realized the male had arrived. His brilliant flash of violet throat and crown was a happy sight. Then I began hearing his exuberant, scratchy song from the apricot tree. He loves to perch in among the leaves, a post from which he can easily dart down to feed in the garden.
And I have made sure there is nectar available! Russelia and the three Salvia greggii plants are the favourites, and supposedly the new Hamelia patens will be another though I haven't seen the birds on it yet.
Yesterday, knowing he was around, I decided to try to capture some pictures. I brought out the camera and approached the apricot tree. He has been fairly wary so I was anxious not to close the distance too much. I could hear him warbling squeakily to the afternoon breezes. I made a poor imitation with a whistle. He responded enthusiastically.
We talked to each other for a long time, he in the tree, I below, trying to get shots of him between times. But he was against the light and a bit too far away. Eventually he left to feed in the flowers. I went around to the patio and settled into one of the chairs there, just behind the Russelia he was so busy at. He was fine with my presence, and I began snapping pictures. At last I got some that could at least be shared for the record.
I believe this is a Costa's Hummingbird. Each of the pair is a little smaller and a little more wary than the birds we had last year, which were probably Anna's Hummingbirds. And the male's flash of colour when the light hits is distinctly violet. But I certainly won't be dogmatic about the ID as I don't have much experience yet. Whichever they are, they are marvelous to have around.
Today I saw them flying together for the first time. It would be thrilling to host a hummingbird nest...