Tuesday 22 July 2014

Calliope Hummingbirds

I was out picking peas in the garden yesterday, I was out picking peas in the garden yesterday, and I noticed that the hummingbirds were pretty actively collecting nectar from the nearby maltese cross and delphinium flowers.  Luckily, I had just taken a photo of a carrot flower and so had my camcorder on me so I stopped my pea picking and took some video of the Calliope hummingbirds that live and breed around here.
    Most people are surprised to discover that there are hummingbirds in Canada.  My wife, who grew up in Germany, always thought that hummingbirds just lived in South America.  We had hummers in Indiana, and I also always associated them with warmer climes, so it was a surprise when we first saw them buzzing around in the north country.
    Calliopes are the smallest birds that live in North America.  They are 3.35 inches (8 cm) in length.  They spend their winters in the southern part of the US and fly up here every summer to nest and breed.  The most common hummingbird in the Robson Valley is the Rufous, which is rust colored.  The Calliopes are metallic green on the back with cinnamon on the sides.  They have an iridescent ruby patch that shines either red or black on their throat, depending on how the light hits them.

See my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

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