How to Find Hummingbirds 101

Some cool facts about hummingbirds:

  1. The patch of feathers on the throat of a hummingbird is called a gorget;
  2. Hummingbirds don’t have well developed feet, since they fly so often;
  3. They don’t really have their own call;
  4. They can beat their wings as slow as 12 beats per second or as fast as 80 beats per second.

How to find hummingbirds:

  1. You listen.

Hummingbirds don’t usually perch (or they hard to spot perching), they don’t really have a call, and they are super quick. It is best to find hummingbirds by listening for them while they are flying over or near you. They usually stay around in the same area, and will even go back to the same perch.

How to identify hummingbirds:

If you are an expert, you can probably identify hummingbirds by the sound of them flying over. You can also identify them by looking at them, but you have make sure you can see them and that the lighting is right. In the shade, this small Broad-tailed Hummingbird looks like it is gray and white with a black gorget. Out in the sun, you can see the green on its body, and flashes of red on its gorget.

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Penstemon sp.

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The best picture I have gotten of a hummingbird

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Castilleja sp.

So is it hard to find hummingbirds? Yes. Is it rewarding and cool to watch them find flowers? Also yes.

 

Aileen Palma
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