Gardengrrl likes being outside and watching "Sky-TV"
By: GardenGrrl, 7:25 PM GMT on August 17, 2011
Nearly all photos posted of hummingbirds tend to be the colorful males. The females tend to be rather dull in coloration to blend in with their nests.
Another thing about the females is that it is quite difficult to tell many species apart.
These are female Blackchinned hummers taken through my living room window with my beloved new Fuji HS20 camera. Have I mention how much I love this point-n-shoot ;-)
Blackchinned hummers are found throughout the Western United States and winter over in northern Mexico.
Gram for gram, hummingbirds are some of the toughest birds on the planet. These tiny little critters actually follow a migratory path across the Gulf of Mexico. No rest stops there.
If you have ruby throated hummingbirds in your area, the females look just like these girls here. One way to tell them apart is by the small white patch behind the blackchinned hummers eye. The top picture shows a small "V" on the chest. Of course goodluck spotting these on a moving hummingbird.
Here is a picture of a male blackchinned. They have a purple collar when the light hits them the right way. In other light they look rather like dull black and white peguins.
Factoid; Blackchinned hummers are very territorial and will engage in some pretty amazing ariel dog fights to keep other hummers away from "their" feeder.
They also have very poor eyesight. They don't bother other birds, except when small black and white chickadees show up, they will attack them too.
This leaves the little chickadees saying, Dang! WTF?!" as they fly off to less combative bird feeders.
Updated: 8:08 PM GMT on August 26, 2011
By: GardenGrrl, 8:56 PM GMT on August 02, 2011
Holy Heatwave, Batman, some Joker has been messing with the weather... Sure seems like it. This is hands down the hottest, driest summer I've experienced since moving back to Texas.
My yard is traditionally a haven for birds and butterflies. The poor butterflies have nothing this year as my perennials have shut down into drought survival mode refusing to bloom. Even the zinnias have withered.
Taking my cue from Prose, I have set out multiple water stations for the birds and critters. At least the wild birds have a bit of a haven in the yard with food, shade and water provided. The hummers get their feeders replinished often.
This arrangement works out well for both the birds and I. It's too hot to hang around outside so I get to watch Bird TV from the windows. The other day I took a late afternoon picture of my Betty Boop thermometer to show how hot it was. Today at noon. noon mind you, it was 109f !
Here's Betty posing with the weather station.
This is a very hot House Finch taking refuge in the shade after visiting the seed buffet.
Sparrows panting at the water station. Seems they only take bathes when my camera is off. It's so cute to watch them splash.
This picture turned out pretty good. I took it from the living room window. This is a male Blackchinned Hummer showing off his purple collar. Some have red collars that look a bit like bow ties.
So yep, it's hot out. Be sure to drink more water than you think you need if you are going to spend time outside.
Peace from behind the air-conditioned windows. Too darn hot to sit on the blog porch ;-)
Updated: 6:12 PM GMT on August 13, 2011