Scientific name: Calypte anna
Length: 4 inches (10 cm)
Identification: Male Anna's hummingbirds have a rose-red crown and gorget
(throat) that extends to the sides of the neck. Both the female and male are metallic
(iridescent) green above and grayish white below. Females lack the red crown, but
may have a red throat patch. Both have dark wings and tails, and the female has white
tipped tail feathers.
Habitat and range: A common visitor to the southeastern desert areas of California,
the Anna's hummingbird is found along the west coast of the United States, but some
winter in southern Arizona and northern Sonora in Mexico. Its habitat varies from
the desert to the mountains to the coastal areas along the west coast. At the beginning
of the 21st century, the Anna's hummingbird has been seen ranging into Vancouver,
British Columbia, even up to southeast Alaska.
FYI: The bird was named by the naturalist Rene Primevere Lesson for a 19th
century Italian duchess Anna De Belle Massena, whose husband, Prince Victor Massena,
had collected a specimen in his private collection. Source: The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley Pollination
is only one benefit of the hummingbird, since the Anna's hummingbird has the title
of the greatest consumer of insects of any North American hummingbird -- catching
on wing flying insects. Source: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Mating
for the male Anna's hummingbird is described as an "air dance" or "pendulum
dance," since the male flies back and forth like a swinging pendulum before
he dives downward towards his intended mate. He makes a loud, explosive noise at
the bottom of the dive to impress the female. If he succeeds in winning the female
and mating, then the two bean-sized eggs incubated by the female will hatch into
tiny, black, blind buglike creatures, which are the baby hummingbirds. Source:
"Hummingbird," The Audubon Nature Encyclopedia, 1965, Vol. 5, pp. 896-7.
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