My hubby and I like to get out of Denver in the snowy months when we feel spring should be coming, but isn't. This year we stayed in a ranch guesthouse in southeast Arizona. Birding is always good in SE Arizona, but especially during migration, so we went in March/April.
Some hummingbirds hang around all winter in Southeast Arizona, but some migrate further south and were just returning in April. Most readily go to feeders, although some more reluctantly than others. I enjoy watching them on flowers and prefer to photograph them that way, so we bought three pots of tubular flowers that I put out in the sun. I fell in love with these flowers, so when we left for home, we stuffed them in the car and brought them home to enjoy in the yard this summer.
This is one of the most beautiful hummingbirds we had...the Broad-billed Hummingbird, easy to identify by his orange bill. This one has yellow pollen on it's bill.
Gorgeous. The blue really takes your eye, but I am fascinated by the green on his head and wings.
I like the feeling of freedom this image projects.
Here is the Broad-bill perched and watching out for "his" feeders. He's a pretty aggressive protector, similar to the Rufous.
This is the female that was paired up with the above male.
This is a Black-chinned male Hummingbird, long black bill and purple throat (when he gets in the light just right). He does not flare his throat nearly as often as the Broad-bill.
When not flaring purple, this is what the Black-chinned looks like..just a black throat.
And here he is at his prettiest...around flowers.
This is the lovely white-throated female Black-chinned Hummingbird.
She has a rather gray head.
These photographs were taken at my leisure at the guesthouse, where I could control lighting and take my time to get them off the feeders and onto flowers. But, there are great venues in SE Arizona to watch hummers. The newly renovated Paton Center for Hummingbirds is one of the best. The Patons were wonderful folks who loved and fed hummingbirds and invited the public to come sit in their yard on chairs and watch these great little entertainers fly all over the place. When the Patons passed on a couple of years ago, donations and the Tuscon Audubon Society leapt to the rescue and have made the property into a lovely public venue with water features, picnic tables, and more feeders for non-hummers. So, definitely go there in Patagonia!! The Violet-crowned Hummingbird comes there regularly, a beautiful bird that didn't pose for me.
We had the Magnificent Hummingbird (a real boat of a bird that sails around in the air) at Ramsey Canyon and even at our feeder for a day, but I couldn't get a picture that I liked. That was a little disappointing because that bird is a challenge to photograph, but in the sun it's amazing! But, it's always good to have something to look forward to in the future, don't you think?
In upcoming blogs on our trip, I'll talk about other places to bird and what we experienced there.