Anna's Hummingbird

Bird of the Month: Anna's Hummingbird

By Hugh Jennings

PC: Mick Thompson (Anna’s Hummingbird)

PC: Mick Thompson (Anna’s Hummingbird)

Scientific Name: Calypte Anna

Length 3.5 - 4" long

AOU Band code ANHU

The Anna’s Hummingbird, four letter code ANHU, at 3 ½ - 4” is slightly larger than other West Coast hummingbirds.  Found in open woods, shrubs, gardens and parks, it is the only hummingbird to remain throughout most of the West Coast in winter.  Anna’s do not migrate, but shift their range to local areas with more food.  If you keep your hummingbird feeders out in winter you may be surprised to see these hummers in your backyard.  Male’s head and throat are deep rose red, the color extending a short distance onto the sides of neck.  They are iridescent green above and duller gray-green below.  Female’s throat usually shows red flecks, often forming a patch of color.  The underparts dingy gray, and the tail corners are white.  The male can be spotted singing from a conspicuous perch, or giving a spectacular dive display, rising to 120’, diving down at speeds up to 65 mph, then veering up at bottom while giving a loud “speeek” sound.  Song is a patterned series of coarse, squeaky phrases.  Calls include a soft chip and a rapid, repeated chee-chee-chee.  After mating, female raises young alone.  In the morning, she feeds them nectar, for quick energy while she forages.  In the afternoon, she feeds them insects.