The Desert Begins to Bloom, Bringing Hummingbirds
Another beautiful day in the desert begins with a colorful sunrise. It is just about at this time in the morning that I go outside and fill the hummingbird and other feeders I have planted outside my motorhome door.
The hummingbirds arrive at the feeders before it is anywhere light enough to photograph, so I use this time to go out and scour the surrounding area for any blooming flowers I can find. The blooms are few and far between, but it is now only a matter of time before everything starts to pop, given the recent rains and how green everything is around here.
Though there are hundreds of healthy ocotillos around, there are only a few here and there that have started to bloom, and these flowers are the perfect photo prop to use for these desert hummers.
I know there are at least three different types of female hummingbirds coming in to feed, but other than the fairly distinctively colored Rufous, I am never exactly sure who is who with these females, so i won’t bother to attempt to label their images.
The male Costa’s is pretty easy to identify, but seems to be the most timid of the other male hummingbirds coming in, and is always chased off by either the male Rufous or Anna’s.
The male Rufous is probably the most aggressively possessive of the feeders, chasing off all others who dare approach. He actually kind of irritates me as I wait for birds to approach and he chases them off before I can get a shot taken. After scaring them off, he retreats to the inner branches of a nearby tree, leaving me with nothing to photograph until he gets hungry again or finally decides to fly off and check out other areas.
His throat coloring is very impressive if exposed to the proper light. Unfortunately, with the sun coursing across the southern sky and the prevailing wind coming from the north, I have been unable to get a great shot of him yet ( they prefer to feed facing into the wind ).
And then there is the colorful Anna’s male. This guy was here a lot in the beginning but has made far fewer appearances since the Rufous arrived and staked out his claim to my feeders.
I was here two years ago in a spot only a hundred yards or so from where I am now along the same wash and had a lot more activity than I am getting here this year. Still, I have a hard time complaining about day after day of wonderful 70 degree weather with cool nights and gorgeous sunrises, with three different hummingbird species to shoot.
Hopefully I’ll have some more shots of the male hummers next post.
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