One family's diary, journeys and thoughts

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why no blog?

I have got plenty to say, but the inspiration to sit down and write it just wouldn't come. And there were no interesting pictures to post either, for a while. Thus, no blog.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The buzzing fluff

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. Heard that one before, right? Well, so have I, but I just can't get over it. The smallest of all birds, some smaller than the eye (or the brain) of an ostrich, they are nothing but a bunch of fluff with a needle-like beak - but with what an attitude! What amazing agility! And how beautiful they are - all colorful, with gorgeous iridescent feathers that change colors as they fly. I have been fascinated by them ever since I came to California and discovered the abundance of those little buzzers here.

Did you know a hummingbird can flap its wings 200 times per second, can hover in one place and - the only one of all birds - can fly backwards?!

Here are some of the recent hummingbird pictures I took. Only a week ago they were happily feeding and chirping in the trees. Today they were already flying in pairs and buzzing angrily if any strangers came close to their territory. Must be spring - nest-building time.

On this picture of Allen's hummingbird, you can't really see the colorful neck. Then the bird moves an inch, the sun hits the feathers differently, and...

voila! the red necktie!

This little guy was trying to intimidate me by flying straight overhead or hovering in the air right in front of my face! After which, with a victorious air he would return to his perch on the cactus branch. I wonder if his missus was building a nest somewhere nearby...

Here are some older pictures; I took them years ago and they have been posted on a photo website.

This guy literally flew into my picture - I was actually trying to shoot a bee...

This silly couple of Anna's hummingbirds built their nest in a tree inside a parking lot. I watched them for a few days and took some photos, hoping to see the young ones soon, but sadly the nest got blown off by a strong wind one day...

This not-so-quality picture is Costa's hummingbird, a different species I found in San Diego.

That's all, and happy Valentine's Day to everyone who cares.