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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Hummingbird

About 7:30am on 16th June we saw our first Oregonian hummingbird in the garden. Beth spotted it first, and was able to get a few photos at long range through the kitchen window. We watched its antics for about ten minutes. I've seen hummingbirds before in Vermont, but these are our very own West Coast version, and infinitely superior thereby.


It takes a lot of energy to hover like this, but a diet of pure liquid sugar, similar to that of many Americans, provides the necessary fuel. The difference is that these birds burn it off, while the ground-creaking Americanus Obeseius, about 1/3rd of the current population, stores it for use in causing diabetes and heart attacks. 


In repose this tiny bird was not very noticeable, and apart from the long beak was rather dull to look at. The two commonest species in Oregon are Anna's Hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird. I think this was the latter, but not in full color plumage, possibly a juvenile or female.


Briefly it hung around the willow in the creek, and here's a photo for size comparison. The other bird is a Song Sparrow, of which there are over 30 recognised subspecies. A hummingbird weighs about the same as three small paperclips. 



Ghost wanted to get more involved, but the bird was sensibly staying at the tops of the trees. The action of the hummingbird closely mimicked his favorite toy, a bundle of feathers tied to a stick with a length of elastic.

3 comments:

  1. Those are great! I'm still waiting for a hummer. I've got a feeder, but I don't know that they've yet arrived in force here in the Mid-Atlantic. The presence of garden flowers helps, and maybe I'll get around to planting some, someday. This was my year for bird feeders. Next Spring, flowers maybe.

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  2. So very cool! Great pictures. I can't wait to show the kids.

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  3. I saw a hummingbird in my garden in Seattle in March but have been back in Dublin since then. Still waiting on my husband's visa. Grr. I particularly like the photo of the cat. The longer we stay in Dublin the fonder I feel towards our cat here.
    Janet

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