At our home in San Diego, California, we only had Anna’s Hummingbirds for years. I very clearly remember a few years back seeing a hummingbird that looked completely different than our regular visitors. Anna’s Hummingbirds are about 4” (10 cm) with iridescent green bodies with a dark head, chin and neck. In the sun, the head shines a deep rose red (males). This little guy seemed smaller and had a rusty orange belly with a distinct white “bib”. I grabbed my Sibley Guide to Birds book, looked it up and discovered it was a male Allen’s Hummingbird (although they look almost identical to Rufous Hummingbirds). This newcomer must have liked my feeder as he decided to stick around and I now have a few families that have made my neighborhood home. In January, their feathers are all in perfect condition as they are getting ready for mating season. As a result, each year I spend a great deal of time photographing the hummingbirds from January through March, until their feathers are looking less than ideal from fighting with their rivals. This beautiful little male Allen’s Hummingbird is always a joy to watch and to photograph!
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Clare Disano • Editor