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Mar 19, 2013

Anna's Hummingbird in the snow

Photo by Mary Horton
Yesterday I showed two photos of an Anna's Hummingbird taken by Dave Kemp of Richmond B.C.   Today, Mary Horton, a friend of Dave Kemp, sent along a picture of an Anna's Hummingbird, sitting on snowy apple branches, which she took last December.   This bird is one of three or four hummers that over-winter in Mary's garden.   Mary got the the picture with a little point-and-shoot Olympus camera.   According to Wikipedia, "Anna's Hummingbirds are found along the western coast of North America, from southern Canada to northern Baja, California and inland to southern Arizona.   They tend to be permanent residents within their range...".   "Anna's Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds to spend the winter in northern climes; they are able to do this because there are enough wild flowers and food to support them.   During cold temperatures, Anna's Hummingbirds gradually gain weight during the day as they convert sugar to fat.   In addition, hummingbirds with inadequate stores of body fat or insufficient plumage are able to survive periods of sub-freezing weather by lowering their metabolic rate and entering a state of torpor.   What a delight it must be to see hummingbirds in snowy weather.   Lucky Mary.
Please comment if you wish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We live in the foothills of the Pinal Mountains in central Arizona. For the past two years we have have had male Anna's winter with us. They each guard their own feeder but also try to sneak into the other's space. This winter we had over a week of below freezing temperatures plus snow that stayed for days. It was miserably cold, the snow was falling with an inch piled on the feeder and still the hummers were chasing each other around. Now (mid Jan) new hummers (including females) have joined in, Yesterday there were five at one of the feeders but this morning four circled it for some time with no one able to land and drink.