[Tweeters] Hummingbird Notes

David Hutchinson flora.fauna at live.com
Wed Mar 11 11:20:35 PDT 2009

Regarding keeping lids off compost bins, my personal view is that one should do whatever is best for the compost not the bird. Despite their small size and apparent delicacy, hummingbirds are tough, survivors, opportunists and Annas represents all these qualities in spades. Regarding the subject of "early", it is fun to see the pioneer male Rufous arriving a little "early" as pioneers do, throughout our region. The mass of males target date for arrival is still March 15 - 31. Let's see if that is still true. What is "early" is the singleton Rufous female reported by one correspondent. Their target date is usually up to two weeks after the mass arrival of the males. She is a true pioneer and because of the feeders will likely survive.
It is still amazing to me that Annas females have nested and are hatching young while their main native food plant sources have not come into bloom. In the years when I closely followed Annas, their was a correlation between their being on eggs and the blooming of Red Flowering Currant. In a very late spring like this it is clear that feeders are likely significant for their maintenance. The one nest in full view of a window is a great joy. But is the hatching "early". In Santa Monica, young Annas fledged some weeks ago. In fact since its arrival Annas Hummingbird has always been one of the PNW's earliest nesters. The Discovery Park area has three records for different times in February, though there are no associated hatching dates to give an exact comparison. However one respondent in the DP study had an Annas female which had fledged two broods before the end of May. DH

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