Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hummingbirds, Critters, and such

The Rufous hummingbirds seem to have left for the season. I haven't seen them around in about a week or so. The Anna's hummingbirds are still around though and courting! They are supposed to be year round residents of this area. I guess that must be true if they are courting right now.

I was watching them yesterday. As the female was busy sipping nectar from the salvia, a male would swoop down from way up high, make a noise right as he passed her, then swoop way back up in the air making ginormous U-shapes in the sky. There is a nifty video I came across of the Anna's hummingbird courting ritual that shows pretty much to a T how this all went down.
See the Anna's Hummingbird video (the video is near the bottom of the page).

He did this over and over for 5 minutes or more. The female didn't seem terribly interested, though. She would fly away and perch way up high at the very tippy-top of a fir tree about 150 feet up and just hang out there. Then she would come back down, sip some more nectar and the whole scene would play out again. Eventually they just started chasing each other around the yard.

Anna's hummer way up at the top of the tree. No, really, she's there:

You can  see her here in this closer pic:

This was as far as my lens would zoom. She's way up there! Good lookout point I suppose:

Here's the hummer at the salvia:

While all this courtship excitement was going on, a red squirrel was very busy in the big leaf maple pulling down the helicopter-like seeds to eat for lunch. Time to store up those calories as the cold weather is right around the corner. Mr. Squirrel even has a lunch companion:

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