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A photo of a Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna), male
Anna's Hummingbird, Male

Anna's Hummingbird

Calypte anna

The Anna's hummingbird, Calypte anna, is a small, vibrant bird native to the western coastal regions of North America. With a length of 3.9 to 4.3 inches and a wingspan of approximately 4.7 inches, it is a creature of delicate proportions. The species exhibits a dazzling iridescent bronze-green back and a pale grey underbelly, with males sporting a magnificent crimson-red crown and gorget that can appear dull in the absence of sunlight.

Identification Tips

To identify the Anna's hummingbird, look for the male's unique red crown, a feature not shared with any other North American hummingbird. Females and juveniles have a more subdued green crown and may show some red iridescence on the throat. The species' long, straight bill is a key characteristic for nectar feeding.

Habitat

These hummingbirds are found in open-wooded or shrubby areas and mountain meadows along the Pacific coast, from British Columbia to Arizona. They have adapted well to urban environments and are often seen in backyards and parks.

Distribution

Originally breeding only in Baja California and Southern California, the Anna's hummingbird has expanded its range northward to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, and eastward to Arizona, due to the introduction of exotic ornamental plants and the provision of nectar feeders by humans.

Behaviour

Anna's hummingbirds are known for their remarkable flight abilities, including hovering and rapid shaking to shed water or debris. They are permanent residents within their range, with some individuals venturing far beyond, even as far as Alaska and Newfoundland.

Song & Calls

The male's song is a scratchy, metallic sound, often heard while perched. This vocalization plays a role in territorial defense and courtship.

Breeding

Females are solely responsible for nest building and raising the young. Nests are artfully constructed with plant fibers, feathers, and spider silk, often camouflaged with lichen and other materials. Breeding can occur as early as mid-December, depending on the location.

Similar Species

Anna's hummingbirds may hybridize with other species, such as the Costa's hummingbird, leading to offspring that can be mistaken for new species.

Diet and Feeding

These birds primarily feed on nectar, using their extendable tongues to reach into flowers. They also consume small insects and arthropods for protein.

Conservation status

With an estimated population of 8 million, the Anna's hummingbird is listed as a species of least concern. Its numbers have been increasing since the 1970s, a testament to its adaptability and resilience.

Anna's Hummingbird Sounds


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Anna's Hummingbird Fun Facts

Did you know?
The heartbeat of an Anna's Hummingbird is around 1260 beats per minute.

Anna's Hummingbirds on Birda

Sightings

More Hummingbirds

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