[Tweeters] Annas Notes

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at quidnunc.net
Mon Mar 16 14:32:10 PDT 2009


(I couldn't wait for the "More later".)

You say the Anna's has been "transplanted". To me that sounds like humans actually moved the birds rather than them moving in to exploit conditions and habitats that have become conducive to survival north of their range of 40 years or so ago. That is not what you mean is it? Of course some of those conditions and changes in habitat have been created by man, but I don't know why their moving in to exploit those conditions and changes wouldn't count as a "range expansion". It does seem fair though to add a qualification indicating that these conditions (possibly including global climate change as one factor) were man made.

Though I don't know how much of their diet it forms, I would also add that I often see Anna's flycatching for the small gnat-like insects that fly through the winter. Another fact that many of us didn't always know is that while hummingbirds are nectaring on flowers they are also eating the small insects also nectaring on those flowers. Hummingbirds are more insectivorous than discussions about them normally imply. That said, I don't know that they could make it through a winter on gnats alone, and the hummingbird feeder sugar-water and ornamental winter blooming nectar flowers may indeed be critical to survival of Anna's in Washington and BC.


Stewart Wechsler
-Ecological Consultant - Nature Guide
Naturalist - Botanist
206 932-7225
ecostewart at quidnunc.net
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----- Original Message --From: David Hutchinson

... This hummingbirds existence here and in BC is often described as a "range expansion" hence some of the misleading statments about global warming, population shifts etc. A better word I believe, would be "transplant". Annas has "transplanted" or even "grafted" itself to urban and suburban situations where there are feeders, ornamental plantings that bloom year round, and, in certain situations, like Discovery Park, sizable populations have built up because of extensive areas of native bloom and display sites. More later. DH

David Hutchinson, Owner
Flora & Fauna: Nature Books
Discovery Gardens: Native Plants
3212 W.Government Way


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