Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Hot Again

It's really hot (over 100) today and will stay that way a couple more days. It seems to be having a bit of an effect on the hummingbirds. They must be staying up in the trees more where it is cooler, there is not quite the activity around the feeders today. 
Here is a photo of a hummingbird who may or may not be the 'old guy', he has all the right moves for sure. His beak is quite gnarly and might be due to avian pox according to a couple postings online. If so, it can heal up on its own, looks worse than it really is.
Lots of bees, will be going to hardware store in search of more solutions to bee guards for feeders. Orioles are gone so there are more options to keeping out bees. 

No sign of the partially albino hummer again, watch continues.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orioles Are Gone

It has been a week since the last hooded oriole sighting, the last group must have returned to their winter home in Arizona or Mexico. Just about a year ago to the week was the previous end of the summer visit.

Lots of hummingbirds around, mostly Anna's and blackchin.Yesterday I saw a type of hummer I not seen before - a mostly white one. This trait is known as leucistic - where there is a partial loss of pigmentation. The feet, beak, and eyes were dark and there were some green feathers.  By the time I returned with a camera it was gone.

Last evening there was another visitor that did hang around long enough to get a photo.
It was a 2-3 inch Pepsis or tarantula hawk wasp, known for their hunting tarantulas as food for their young. When I first saw her (as judged by the curly antennae) she was sharing the feeder with a hummingbird.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010

A good day to look back and remember those gone...

It's almost the middle of September and the hooded orioles that stop by for the spring and summer are mostly gone now. I thought maybe they were all gone, but this afternoon I saw a female on the fence next to a feeder. Could not tell youngster or Mom. Update: Sunday morning - 2 females at feeder.

We are still having a cooler than normal summer, much to my pleasure, but this does not seem to be impacting the hummingbirds in any way I can see. There are plenty around, 2 gallons a day worth anyway!

The 2 feeders below hold 1/3 gallon each, they are emptied every day.

Just when I think the 'old guy' Anna's is not around, the feeder he guards starts draining very slowly and a male Anna's is chasing off all comers. But I can not tell if it is him, older for certain, but less bold toward me so I can not get too close.
This is the 'hummingbird tree' next to several feeders and behind the webcams. It's hard to see, but if you click on photo to enlarge, there are 30 or so hummers in the dead Ramona lilac bush. I would take it out but the hummers really like perching there.

I am waiting to see a few Rufus hummers as they make their way back south, none identified yet.

We have always had a few black phoebes flitting around, lately one has taken up bug patrol along a fence below several hummingbird feeders and flies back and forth between a coyote bush and a small Tacoma Stans (Yellow Bells) shrub. The coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) is blooming, such as they do, and there are extra bugs attracted to it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010