Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunny Saturday

I spent half an hour or so out with the hummers this afternoon around 2:00. There was a big crowd hanging out on the 'hummingbird tree' and on the feeding tower. Here is a photo of several hummers and a praying mantis that I almost did not see. I have heard (read) that a mantis can catch a hummer, maybe a much bigger mantis and much smaller hummer.
Here is a better photo of the lizard who has taken over the bird house!
This is about half of the birds in the tree, the rest are lower and are harder to see. That photo is next, most of these photos are clickable for a larger view.
I took a nice 2 minute video of the activity, almost like being there! Well, not quite...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Beautiful weather and Thanksgiving Day with family! It has been cool over night (frost Thursday morning) and the hummers are a little slow to the 'breakfast table'. But by 7:30 AM they are ready to go! Old Guy update: he may have moved his territory to the side yard. 2 feeders there are draining slowly and I caught a glimpse of a male Anna's who looks close to the profile.
I sat out with the hummers for a while this afternoon and tried to get a few pics of the males showing off there highlights.
Here are a four getting cozy while getting a snack!
I did not know hummers got Tats! the guy on the left has one right on the top of his head.
This guy has a case of pinhead going on. I rarely see them in that condition.
Here is 'The Lookout', he has got the high ground staked out.

It's a western bluebird box, I mean western fence lizard. It seems to be a favorite hangout for this guy. it is the box that had a family of house wrens this spring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just the Winter population?

It seems like we may be down to just the 'locals' now, the feeders are only taking around a gallon a day to refill lately. I don't recall seeing nearly as many kinds of hummingbirds this summer and fall as usual and not the quantity in each type, except for Anna'a and Blackchinned. The weather has been excellent for the last week and generally nice all summer and fall, a bit cooler than normal. Did this keep some of the travelers from staying in the area? Maybe they were searching for warmer climes. Maybe their migration route shifted a little this year.

Old Guy update: Have not seen positive sign for weeks now, 'his feeder is seeing plenty of multibird action lately. I am hoping he just decided to share! Other very territorial hummers have been a bit less so lately, maybe just the season.

New phenomenon this year - for the last 2-3 weeks large quantities of gnat-like insects are getting into the feeders. I have not yet done a close exam on these insects in order to identify this latest annoyance. They may be an effect of the early rain and then hot weather. Better than bees, and they may be a protein source for the hummers - if so, fine.