Anna's Humming Bird
( Important Hummingbird Feeder Info - Improperly maintained feeders can KILL hummingbirds)
Scientific Name: Calypte anna
Pictures: (click for larger images)
Female Anna's Hummingbird, taken outside a dorm window. Photo by UCLA alum & Environmental Bruin Sean Hoppes. This was probably an immature male Anna's Hummingbird. The black-looking area n his chin was actually an iridescent red; it just wasn't being lit well. On a feeder near Hilgard & Le Conte. Photo by Jason Finley. A baby Anna's Hummingbird I found abandoned on the ground and calling to be fed. She was in a planter in the Math Science Quad and no mother was around. Photo by Jason Finley. Baby Anna's Hummingbird. They're usually fed every half hour and should never be on the ground to begin with. Photo by Jason Finley. I was able to feed her some sugar water with a straw, and she was looking better. I delivered her to the fine folks of South Bay Wildlife Rehab. Photo by Jason Finley.
Two baby Anna's Hummingbirds in a nest (nestlings)! This was in the UCLA Mildred A. Mathias Botanical Garden. I found them on march 15th, 2005. Photo by Jason Finley.
The mother Anna's Hummingbird was nearby and frequently fed her babies. Photo by Jason Finley.
The mother lands on the nest. The father has nothing to do with rearing the young, and will in fact kill babies if he finds them. This is because hummingbirds are very competitive and territorial. Photo by Jason Finley.
Anna's Hummingbirds: GULP!!! The mother feeds the babies by regurgitating into their mouths. Photo by Jason Finley.
March 18th, 2005. The babies are almost ready to fly! Photo by Jason Finley. By March 22nd, 2005 the babies had grown big enough to fly away (fledge)! I'm pretty sure I saw one of them nearby, trying to feed from a pine tree and having no luck! A male Anna's Hummingbird taking a drink of nectar! Notice the red on his throat, which the angle of the light allows us to see here. Photo by Sean Hoppes, 5/15/05.
-Photos by Sean Hoppes or Jason Finley
Description: Tiny. 4" in length (beak to tail), smaller than a sparrow. Long skinny beak. Metallic green back and tail. Light whitish belly/chest with some green speckling. Males have iridescent red head and throat.
Sound: Common call note is a sharp "chick" often followed by dry rapid rattling. "Male's song is a jumble of high squeaks and raspy notes." (from National Geographic field guide) Listen to an Anna's Hummingbird calling! Link is to the sound page for this bird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.
Commonality/Seasonality: Very common year-round. Our climate here is such that they don't need to migrate.
Location: All over campus, anywhere there are trees or bushes with nectar-bearing flowers. In particular, hummingbirds (and other small birds) LOVE bottlebrush plants, of which we have many on campus and in the surrounding area. Here's a picture of a bottlebrush plant:
The bottlebrush plants may simply be bushes, if they are small, or may grow into full-fledged trees. Stick around one of these for a while and you're bound to hear some hummers and see them zooming around. Once you know what they sound like, you'll hear them all over.
Notes: Hummingbirds DO actually stop flying (contrary to an urban myth) and can be seen perching in trees and bushes. They are very territorial and fight with each other very often, so they're not flock birds. That said, you may see a good number of them around a good nectar source, but odds are they'll be chasing and fighting like crazy. They drink the nectar from flowers for energy, but also chase down and eat small insects for nutrition.
The other species of hummingbird we have on and around campus is the Allen's Hummingbird.
If you or anyone you know has, or is considering having a hummingbird feeder, please read this:
Important Hummingbird Feeder Info
Our only resident hummer and our most abundant. They will begin mating in mid-winter, the nuptial flight performance being recorded December 6, 1929; December 11, 1941; December 27, 1942. Fuly fledged young were found March 30, 1933.
-Miller, Loye. "Birds of the Campus, University of California, Los Angeles," from University of California Syllabus Series, No. 300. Text by Loye Miller, illustrations by Robert C. Stebbins. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1947.