Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Anna's Hummingbird - Zoro Garden, Balboa Park, San Diego - Western Birds

Anna's Hummingbird, Zoro Garden, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA; 6/15/2011.
Val and I were strolling through the sunken Zoro Butterfly Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego - I figured a garden that would attact butterflies would also attact birds - especially hummingbirds. I was correct in this assumption, soon I noticed a few hummingbirds buzzing the tree tops high above us.  I was hoping they would come closer and check out the flowers in the garden so I could get a better look. A couple of them swooped down, but were gone in a flash. I decided to stick around and try my luck, and indeed, perserverance paid off, as one landed on an open branch about 50 feet away. It stayed on its perch (Above) long enough for me to take a few shots. For your interest, Zoro Garden was designed as a nudist colony in 1935 - now a butterfly garden containing both the larvae and nectar plants needed for the complete life cycle of butterflies.
The same Anna's Hummingbird in Zoro Garden Balboa Park, San Diego, CA; 6/15/2011.
As luck would have it, it soon buzzed down to some flowers not more than 10 feet from me. I couldn't have asked for a better chance to get this hummingbird feeding at some flowers (Above). Up to this point, I presumed it was another Black-chinned Hummingbird because of its dark throat, but the yellow spot on its forhead confused me. I couldn't recall any hummingbirds with yellow between its eyes.

The same Anna's Hummingbird feeding on flowers ina garden in Zoro Garden.
The hummingbird kept feeding as I snapped away. It eventually changed angles so I could get a better look at its underbelly which seemed too green to be a Black-chinned. Then it suddenly shifted into another position which let the sunlight reflect on its throat (Below) ...

The Anna's Hummingbird showing off its brilliant red crown and throat.

The brilliant red throat and crown lit up in the sunlight, and I knew it wasn't a Black-chinned, nor could it be a Ruby-throat which isn't found west of the plains states. Later upon researching my bird guides, I deduced that it must be an Anna's Hummingbird, which is the only southern Californian hummingbird which would sport both a red throat and red crown. Thus it became #304 on my Life List.
Sunset of the Day
A Maui sunset, Lahaina, Hawaii; 7/13/2008.


~Val said...

Sad we have to go all the way to California to see hummingbirds...

Chesney said...

Incredible captures....I LOVE hummingbirds!!!