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Tag Archives: hummingbird

There are up to four species of hummingbirds in our region and I think the Black-chinned is my favorite. It is more slender than other hummers making it appear ‘tall’ but really, it’s no bigger than the other hummingbirds around here with an average weight of .12 ounce. Twelve one hundredths of an ounce! Imagine. The wing span is 4.3 inches.

We are near the most northern part of their range. Can you imagine such a small animal making the long migration from central Mexico? While the chin is black, as you might expect, when the sun hits it just right, there is a vibrant strip of purple on the males. I photographed this one at the feeder last week.

The long hours of dusk in the summer time are some of my favorites. And recently we’ve had tremendous sunsets most every evening. This is partially due to smoke from neighboring wildfires. It doesn’t slow down the hummingbirds. We still see them going to the feeders, sometimes aggressively defending them from other hummers. There are fewer than there were a month ago. They are mostly juveniles now. The adults have moved on, migrating south to their wintering grounds or up in the mountains in search of nectar from wildflowers. I do enjoy warm summer evenings on our deck.

Despite a windy morning, Suzanne and I had a nice hike to the top of Patterson Mountain. The calendar says it is summer and yet the wildflowers still look like spring. I was surprised to see so many alliums in bloom. Some areas were carpeted with them. And still there are lots of bitterroot. In addition to wildflowers we saw a pair of Golden Eagles, a Lazuli Bunting and other birds. We are SO lucky to live here!

Bitterroot

 

Allium and a yellow buckwheat

 

A tiny daisy, maybe an aster?

 

Allium and its shadow

 

A hummingbird visits scarlet gillia to collect nectar with Mount Gardner in the background

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