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August 27, 2007

Hummingbird Calypte Anna #2

Anna's hummingbird Calypte Anna
Anna's Hummingbird
(Calypte Anna)
The previous post I made of a photo of a Anna's hummingbird was taken side-on and the feathers of the neck and head are a brownish black. Here we see our little beauty, whose official name is "Calypte Anna", facing us which shows how the color of his neck and head features display as a bright rose. I presume this scares off other competitors for the nectar feeder as they come barrelling down on any intruders.

It is quite inexpensive to feed hummingbirds in your yard. Once you have bought the feeder from your local garden nursery or hardware store, you can make the nectar yourself at home with ordinary white sugar. Here's my recipe for hummingbird feeder nectar: make a 25% solution of white sugar and water. That's it! So for example, I make 8 cup batches at a time, so I first of all measure out 2 cups of sugar and then add 6 cups of warm water to make up a total of 8 cups. Stir it for long enough to dissolve the sugar. It doesn't need to be colored; I know in the stores it's sold with red food coloring in the solution, but the hummers will be attracted by the fake flowers and colors on the feeder itself. Do NOT use powdered (icing) sugar!

How do you attract hummingbirds to your garden feeder? Well, first of all you have to live in an area where hummingbirds live. In warmer parts of the US some varieties, such as the Anna pictured above, don't migrate at all and you will delight in seeing them in your garden year-round. In colder parts, you may only have them during a season. So, presuming you live in an area with hummingbirds, just buy a feeder, fill it with nectar solution, and hang it from a tree branch or other convenient spot. It may take a few weeks for the birds to find it, but once they have, you'll have them as long as you feed them. And once you start, you shouldn't stop as they will come to rely on you especially in the winter and spring.

Canon EOS 20D
Canon 70-300mm lens at 300mm
1/30 secs at f 5/6
ISO 400

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