Saturday, July 30, 2016

A little bird

Photo by Marty Horowitz 5/26/2016

This looks like a female Anna's Hummingbird, to me, so let's go with that until otherwise notified! Definitely nesting in a Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina). (New leaves, in particular, are very velvety.)

From our friends at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these fun facts about hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds are strictly a New World animal. They fascinated the first Europeans who arrived on the continent. Christopher Columbus wrote about them and many wondered if they were a cross between a bird and an insect (at one point being called “flybirds”). Later, their feathers became fashionable ornaments in Europe (a practice that has thankfully fallen out of favor).
What do you call a flock of hummingbirds? Few animals have so many applicable terms, and none so beautiful. Instead of calling them a flock, choose between a bouquet, a glittering, a hover, a shimmer, or a tune of hummingbirds.

I find it fascinating that these tiny birds can build such sturdy nests (without the benefit of opposable thumbs)!

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