Arizona is host to up to 15 species of hummingbirds per year, and at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, we managed to see quite a variety. I mentioned in the last post that a Black-chinned hummingbird greeted us upon arrival, and I did manage to get a picture, but the light was not favourable, so you’ll have to believe me on that one. (Not a fish tale, I promise.) The Black-chinned, apart from having black on its throat also has a beautiful streak of violet.
This Costa’s hummingbird was quite happy to pose for the camera. I love his purple mustache and eyebrows and have decided that if I ever have the misfortune to grow facial hair, it will be dyed purple.
What I didn’t know about hummingbirds, is that they are very territorial, and will pretty much stay in an area if it is to their liking, warding off other birds. They also migrate individually rather than in flocks, supposedly for their own safety. The Rufous hummingbird makes the longest journey – 2500 miles from Alaska to the southwestern points of USA. Usually seen only in the summer, this Rufous decided to stay on for the winter and so is considered a rare sighting here at the Botanical Gardens.
Hummingbirds are fast, and sometimes hard to spot, but I did manage to snap one in flight (the first photo). I can’t say which species this is, but the irredescent green is spectacular. These birds really are jewels.
Naturally, we saw other birds too. The quails were here, but outran my lens every time. We saw many doves, lots of lesser goldfinches, thrashers, and cactus wrens, as well as a few nesting birds.
To be honest though, it was the magic of the hummingbirds that captured my imagination this tour. Some say they represent joy – precious and fleeting. I say they are one more of Nature’s miracles and a blessing to behold.