hummer

No snow now, but the Anna’s hummingbirds were guarding the feeder most of the time when it was cold, especially when I would thaw it. One especially cold hungry day, it dive bombed me when I went to wrap a warm towel around the feeder to warm it up. Fierce little birds!

But it also did the behavior pictured. I think it’s beak cleaning, but it sure looks like sharpening. Just like sharpening a knife.

a hummingbird doing beak care
a hummingbird doing beak care
hummingbird drawing the beak up the branch
drawing the beak up the branch
hummingbird grooming feathers on back
feather care too. I am not that limber.

freeze

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: thaw.

I walked through Kai Tai Nature Park during the snow last month. Usually there are lots of ducks, sometimes geese, red wing blackbirds and a blue heron or eagle. This is taken with a zoom. The ducks were hiding out and the seagulls standing rather forlornly on the ice, waiting for the thaw.

winter bird

Our snow is gone, but I heard on bird note how the Anna’s hummingbirds survive. One morning the temperature here was 14 degrees F, and then the hummingbird was out as soon as it was light. Dive bombing me as I brought out the feeder after thawing it. Bird note says that they can slow their metabolism, like a mini hibernation, during the freezing temperatures. This helps them expand their range and get a jump on the humming birds that go south.

flare

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: flare.

Tictoc’s ruff of feathers look black from the side, but flare to scarlet and pink when seen straight on. That flare must help this small bird chase the larger ones away.

"Tictoc", a hummingbird, in a snowy lilac.

Tictoc has been chasing chickadees and towhees away over the weekend, no respect for larger size. But I had a second hummingbird sitting in the lilac at the same time.

Female Anna's hummingbird sitting in a snowy lilac bush.