Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday: Costa's Hummingbird

Love getting to travel outside of my normal stomping grounds to see different birds.  Last fall, I had a work conference in Palm Desert and since the last session ended at mid-day, I was able to sneak in a visit to The Living Desert - one of the best small zoos I've ever been to.  Seriously, it is WELL worth it if you are in the area to stop by.  Not expensive and in addition to all the exotic zoo animals, the place is a mecca for wild hummingbirds of all varieties. 

One type that I don't get to see near my home on the coast is the Costa's Hummingbird, but they were sure putting on a show during my time at the zoo.  I think I spent more time photographing them than I did looking at the giraffes, cheetahs, etc.

This is a young male - his purple throat feathers are just starting to come in.

The energy output of a hummingbird is truly astounding to watch.  No wonder this little guy is trying to catch a few ZZZs...
This mature male has the full complement of purple head feathers.  I just couldn't get the right angle of light to make them all appear, but you can see a few.  There's an amazing hummingbird documentary on PBS that shows how these birds use these feathers in mating displays.  The head and throat feathers flare out and make it look like the bird's entire head is a glistening purple flower as he hovers in front of a female. 

Here are few more looks at this pretty little bird.
Does anyone else ever silently chant in their heads "C'mon, just look over here" while photographing birds?  Or is it just me?

Because...sometimes it works!!  Finally got him to turn and show off those gorgeous feathers!
If it works...you can't call me crazy, right?


Breathtaking said...

Hello!:) The Costa's Humming bird is like most of the Hummers I have seen ...just too beautiful for words! Lovely photos of both the juvenile, and mature male, with his gorgeous purple plumage.

Stewart M said...

Great shots!

I saw my first - and so far only - hummingbirds on a work / conference trip to Arizona a couple of years ago. I found a Costas in the car park of my hotel! I was rather excited!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne