Tag Archives: Costa’s hummingbird

February 28, 2017 Ogilby Road BLM area, California

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

The Desert Begins to Bloom, Bringing Hummingbirds

Sunrise, Ogilby Road BLM Area

Sunrise, Ogilby Road BLM Area

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.

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

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.

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

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.

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

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.

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Female Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbird

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.

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Rufous Hummingbird and Ocotillo

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.

Rufous Hummingbird and Ocotillo

Rufous Hummingbird and Ocotillo

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 ).

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

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.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

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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February 26, 2017 Ogilby Road BLM Area, California

Burrowing Owl Portrait

Burrowing Owl Portrait

Finally Some Opportunities to Shoot a Few Birds

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

I drove north from my campsite on Ogilby Road to check out the Cibola NWR, a refuge I have visited twice before. The fields were green but the birdlife pretty sparse at the refuge, perhaps because the migrants have already taken wing to begin their northward migration.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

However, the Burrowing Owls were here as they usually are, and I can never resist spending some time with these diminutive ( about the size of a pigeon )  little raptors.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Back home at the campsite, the feeders I have put out are finally attracting some action, such as this male Anna’s Hummingbird,

Male Costa's Hummingbird

Male Costa’s Hummingbird

this male Costa’s Hummingbird,

Gathering Nest Material

Gathering Nest Material

this female ??? hummingbird, with spider’s silk wrapped on it’s beak,

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

and this male Rufous Hummingbird.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

The female hummingbirds coming to the feeders far outnumber the more colorful males, although this female Rufous is fairly colorful herself.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

My tray feeders have attracted White-crowned Sparrows,

??? Sparrow

??? Sparrow

??? Sparrow

??? Sparrow

along with these unidentified sparrows,

??? Sparrow

??? Sparrow

plus a few House Finches and one solitary Verdin, drawn in by the oranges I put out in the tree. Unfortunately, the little Verdin has been completely uncooperative in allowing me to catch him in action.

With my dental work complete, I hope to now be able to spend some serious time attempting to get some decent Hummingbird shots.

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February 12, 2015 ( A ) Moving Day

Doctor Bob

Doctor Bob

Hummingbird Rescue

( or how to perform Mouth to Beak Resuscitation )

( carefully, of course )

As I was readying the motorhome and Toad for this mornings departure from Ajo, I caught what I initially thought was a leaf floating to ground from overhead as I was stepping into the motorhome. Since we had brisk swirling winds this morning, at first I thought nothing of it, but when I glanced down to where it had landed in the road, I was dismayed to see that my leaf was actually a male Costa’s hummingbird.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

The swirling wind must have somehow caught him off guard or off balance, and he was blown violently into the side of the motorhome. This beautiful little creature was now laying sprawled on his back in the middle of the gravel road, head twisted sharply to one side, wings spread awkwardly, and looking like he had probably breathed his last. I reached down and scooped him up and could see no signs of life, but I have seen this sort of thing before with birds that had flown into windows and seemed to be dead, but then come back to life.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

I cupped him in my hand to shelter him from the wind and for a few moments he just laid there on his side, lifeless, but then I swore I thought I saw his head quiver. I righted him and then I saw his head turn, just a little. Keeping him cupped in my hand, I watched as he slowly came back to life. I guess he had knocked himself out, I wonder if hummingbirds get concussions, and exactly what the proper protocal would be for such a thing.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

He never made any attempt to get out of my hand, so when he started to seem alert and his eyes were open and apparently checking out his surroundings ( can’t even imagine what he must have been thinking about the monster that was holding him ), I attempted to get him to perch on a branch on the wind sheltered side of the nearby Palo Verde tree. But he either wanted no part of that, or perhaps he now was kind of attached to me, but eventually I was able to get him to grab a branch and I was able to back away and take this last shot.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

I am pretty sure this did have a happy ending because only 5 or 10 minutes later as I was tying down the toad on the tow dolly, I was buzzed twice by what I assume might have been one very grateful little Costa’s hummingbird.

Down the Road to Why

Rescue happily resolved, I drove back out to Route 85 and went north a couple of miles back up to Ajo to fill my propane tank and dump my holding tanks plus fill up with fresh water at Belly Acres RV Park, a bargain at just $10.

Then reverse my direction and head back south on Route 85 just 10 miles or so to the tiny town of Why. About 2 miles south of Why, I pull off the west side of the road to the BLM managed Gunsight Wash boon docking area and grab my site for exploring Organ Pipe National Monument. More on this place next post.

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January 31, 2015 Ogilby Road BLM, California

Lesser goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch

Hummingbirds and the Rest of the Cast

White-crownded sparrow

White-crownded sparrow

After putting out a platform feeder next to the nectar feeders, and placing a bowl of water on it in addition to some seeds and nuts, I was a little surprised to see a fair number of birds appear.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

House finch

House finch

Lesser goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch

And in addition to them, out of the ground from beneath the feeder came what must be the resident family of ground squirrels.

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

The hummingbirds continue to squabble over possession of the nectar feeders.

Conflict

Conflict

I am just unable to capture any of the hundreds of combat scenes I witness here every day, the action is just too fast to be able to follow with the camera, and pre-focussing on a spot where I think the action will take place always has one of the combatants way out of focus. It would be like hitting the lottery to actually get both birds in the exact same plane of focus and catch the action. Nevertheless, it is very interesting to watch, especially when they take their battles straight up … and up, and up, sometimes probably 100 feet overhead.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

This is a shot of a male Costa’s perched on a branch of a bush a couple feet from the feeders, and, as always, on alert watching for intruders.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

Ditto for this guy.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

The shot above was taken just around sunset with the red ( where it should be blue violet ) throat of this Costa’s caused by the light source being reflected light from the red nectar feeder he was approaching.

Costa's hummingbird

Costa’s hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird

AnnasPerchedBranch10

All different kinds of lighting conditions today and I even played around with some artificial backgrounds, such as a grey blanket clipped to the bushes in the image directly above. With the Super Bowl tomorrow and then appointments Monday and Tuesday for motorhome maintenance, this will probably be it for hummingbirds at Ogilby Road. Now that I am warmed up, I really hope I will be able to find more hummingbird species as I head east and up in elevation next week.

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