Skip to main content

Dig Imperial Beach

An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, the "Anna’s Hummingbirds"

Feb 22, 2018 09:36AM ● By Paul Spear

      An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week,

                 Bryan Brillhart Photography present the 

                        “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, 

                         the Anna’s Hummingbirds

This week’s “Bird of the Week” is Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna)

Anna’s Hummingbirds are among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast, yet they're anything but common in appearance. With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, they are more like flying jewelry than birds. Though no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel, Anna’s Hummingbirds make a strong impression. In their thrilling courtship displays, males climb up to 130 feet into the air and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers. Tiny among birds, Anna’s are medium-sized and stocky for a hummingbird. They have a straight, shortish bill and a fairly broad tail. When perched, wingtips meet the tip of their short tail.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are mostly green and gray, without any rufous or orange marks on the body. The male's head and throat are covered in iridescent reddish-pink feathers that can look dull brown or gray without direct sunlight.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are a blur of motion as they hover before flowers looking for nectar and insects. Listen for the male's scratchy metallic song and look for him perched above head level in trees and shrubs.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are common in yards, parks, residential streets, eucalyptus groves, 

riverside woods, savannahs, and coastal scrub. They readily come to hummingbird feeders and flowering plants, including cultivated species in gardens. I photographed these on my roof deck at my feeder, but I often see them in the Tijuana Estuary flitting along the bike and walking paths. They are very fast fliers, so look quickly before you miss them. They can fly over 61mph!




 If you would like to see more of Bryan's Bird Photos you can click on this link:

Bryan Brillhart Photography or visit all the "Birds of the Week" at: Bird of the Week 


Bryan Brillhart of Bryan Brillhart Photography

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Dig Imperial Beach's free newsletter to catch every headline