Hummingbirds of Southern California

Bird of the Week
Name: Hummingbirds of Southern California
Anna’s, Black-chinned, Costa’s, Rufous, Calliope, Allen’s

My experience with the hummingbird
I have a hummingbird feeder hanging in my yard. I put 4 cups warm water & 1 cup sugar into the feeder. The hummingbirds filled every spot on the feeder this Spring & Summer. We saw Anna’s, Black-chinned, Rufus & Allen.

The hummingbirds made our backyard in the Spring & Summer entertaining. At times they very were territorial & very aggressive. I saw one hummingbird peck at another hummingbirds head so she could take her place on the feeder. Hummingbirds chasing each other around the yard was a common occurrence. 🙂

Appearance:
Anna’s
Adult Male: Metallic green back, dark rose-red crown and grayish breast
Adult Female: Green back, grayish-white breast, white throat with some red spots, white-tipped outer tail feathers
Juvenile: Young of both sexes look like the female, but may have unmarked throats
Black-chinned
Adult Male: Green black and crown, white breast, white throat with black spots, buff sides, white tips on outer tail feathers
Adult Female: Adult female: Green back and crown, white breast, white throat with some black spots, buff sides, white tips on outer tail feathers
Costa’
Adult male: Metallic green back, violet-purple crown and gorget with very long side throat feathers, green breast.
Adult female: Green back and crown, white breast, white throat with some black spots, buff sides, white tips on outer tail feathers.
Rufous
Adult male: Non-iridescent Rufus crown, tail, and sides; back may be green , or some of each; bright orange-red throat area, white breast. Green-backed Rufous cannot be reliably separated from Allen’s in the field without extensive experience and a good view of the spread tail feathers through a scope.
Adult female: Green back and crown, white breast, streaked throat, rufous sides and base of tail feathers, white tips on outer tail feathers. Very similar to female Allen’s and Broad-tailed.
Calliope
Adult male: Metallic green back and crown, white throat area with purple rays that may be erected to show a “whiskered” effect.
Adult female: Green back and crown, white throat with dark streaks, buff sides, white-tipped tail corners.
Allen’s
Adult male: Metallic bronze-green head and back, iridescent coppery-red gorget (throat), rufous flanks. Smaller than the female.
Adult female: Rufous back and sides, white breast, white throat with some red spots, rounded tail with white outer tips. Larger than the male. Extremely difficult to differentiate from female Rufous.
Juveniles: Young of both sexes look like the adult female

Hummingbird Tidbits

  • Anna’s is the most common hummingbird in Southern California.
  • Rufous is known as”feisty” It gets to the feeders at the expense of the slower,less maneuverable hummers
  • Hummingbirds have a long tongue which they use to lick their food at a rate of up to 13 licks per second.
  • The hummingbird’s fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat and high body temperature require that they eat often.
  • Hummingbirds are very territorial and have been observed chasing each other and even larger birds such as hawks away from their territories.

Happy Birding!

source: Humminbirds.net

Female Rufous

Female Rufous

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