[Tweeters] Anna's Hummingbirds

creinsch at humbirds.org creinsch at humbirds.org
Sun Jan 12 12:59:39 PST 2014

"Almost anything is possible with ANHU" - absolutely!

Not being banders, we observe from a distance, and to us it appears that immature (just fledged through to molt) Anna's will have short, stubby, tails; short beeks; considerable white on wings and undersides; and will not have a throat patch or any magenta flecks. In these young one's, I doubt there is any way to sex them without handling, and may be difficult even then. Just fledged are clumsy flyers (compared to adults), and siblings do not necessarily develop their flying skills at the same rate.

When the female is still feeding her fledged young, they (the young) will vocalise a barely audible "peep". It may be to help her locate them, but who knows?

This is all from our personal observation, so it would be interesting to hear how it compares to what others have seen.

chuck reinsch
magnolia, seattle, wa

----- Original Message -----
From: David Hutchinson
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 11:04 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] Anna's Hummingbirds

Almost anything is possible with ANHU; certainly in the core of their resident range, the Los Angeles Basin, they would have young flying by now. It would be wise to have a visual check of what the contributor identifies as young hummingbirds - perhaps they are females, or birds with as yet an incomplete moult. But there are local records of breeding activity in late January and the weather is basically mild. We are having a lot of days above the critical plant growth temperature of 43 degrees Fahrenheit.

Subjectively I usually associate Anna's having eggs with the first native blooms in the forest e.g. Indian Plum, Red-flowering Currant and later on Salmonberry and I have obserbed none. But could we all work together to exclude the term "pair" from the discussion of this polygynous species? They do pair, but only in the fertilisation sense.


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