el diablo robotico (platypus) wrote,
el diablo robotico

I saw a hummingbird on my way into work today. On Sundays I have to walk around the back of the closed library and let myself in with my key card. There's a little canyon behind the building with wildflowers and such; it's quite pretty but I rarely get to see it except on Sunday mornings. Today, while I was walking around the building, a hummingbird landed on a small bare tree right in front of me. It's not the first wild hummingbird I've seen by any means, but I stopped to watch it, thinking about how most hummingbirds I see are drab little brownish things, quite unlike the iridescent fireworks of feathers that I'd expected in advance. I can see how they're occasionally mistaken for moths (or vice versa). No identifying marks at all, really, on this little guy.

Until he moved a little, and the light hit his throat and head at the proper angle, and they flashed into painfully brilliant scarletness for a split second. Wow. He kept tilting his head this way and that, bringing out the color in little bursts. I couldn't possibly have moved until he did, so luckily he flew away before I was late for work.

I assumed that was a ruby-throated hummingbird, not having my new field guide with me to look it up, but a quick web search shows otherwise. It wasn't just a patch on his throat that was so bright, it was his whole head. I didn't know so many species had similar neck colorings. He did not, on further consideration, look like a ruby-throated hummingbird at all. Anna's hummingbird is more likely, I think now, and that's quite impressive enough although they're apparently common here. Either I've seen only females up till now, or the light's just never hit that perfect angle before. They really are amazing little creatures. They used to come to my calibrachoa on our third-floor apartment balcony once in a while.
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