Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hovering Gems- The BroadBilled Hummingbird

I am fortunate enough to live in the southwest. Needless to say with almost a dozen species of humming bird common locally, its obvious the Sonoran Desert is the hummingbird capitol of the United States. The beautiful broadbilled hummingbird is no exception and is often found locally.Easily distinguished by its crimson red beak- which is specially adapted for extracting nectar from local flowers, this bird is quickly recognized by even the newest birder.
Males are exquisitely royal in appearance, cloaked in tiny feathers refracting sapphire and emerald colored light. They appear almost metallic.

The best quality about these tiny birds however, is that they are seemingly unaware of their tiny stature. These birds curiously approach people in a way that would make you certain they are fearless. They duel in the air like winged swordsmen over territory and mates.

Hummingbirds are one of my favorite wildlife subjects, as evidenced by my galleries. I nearly always hear their tinny, raspy call before I see the animal itself. Something about the way they float on even the stillest air is entrancing- their movements precise and unpredictable.

I do not think I could ever select a favorite species. Each native species of hummingbird that I have had the chance to observe is incredibly unique, and quite beautiful. Truly feathered jewels, I am so glad to have them around to add some color to the desert landscape.

No comments: