BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Back from Arizona; Anna's, Costa's and Broad-Tailed

We are back from our trip to Arizona. In the last few days we stayed 3 nights at Madera Canyon, 2 nights in Ramsey Canyon and a last night near Tucson.
In Madera Canyon we saw hummingbirds both at the Chuparosa Inn, where we stayed, and at the Santa Rita Lodge. In both cases we saw the large Magnificent Hummingbirds (see my previous posts) and smaller hummingbirds that often had a red or purple throat. On our way from Madera to Ramsey we stopped at the Paton Hummingbird Center in Patagonia. This is famous amongst hummingbird-lovers because the Patons for many years maintained feeders in their backyard , and invited hummingbirders to visit. Their yard is very close to the Sonoita Creek, one of the few year-round streams in southern Arizona, which attracts a great variety of birds, including many visitors from Mexico. Here we saw a couple of small hummers, but I'm not sure which of the 2 main winter residents, Anna's and Costa's, they were (similar doubts extended to the small hummers we saw at Madera, though there were many of them at the Santa Rita Lodge). We also saw small hummers at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve in Phoenix. This is a waste-water treatment center in a big city which has been cleverly made into a wildlife sanctuary. My expert birder son Jamie felt that the obviously red-throated ones at all these locations were Anna's, and the purple-throats were Costa's, but reviewing images on the web I'm not quite sure - Anna's can also look purplish. But the example below (filmed at the Santa Rita Lodge) is clearly red and presumably an Anna's,
Of course this late in the year we did not expect to see many hummingbirds, but we were not disappointed. It was frustrating however to be far away from my rufous in Baiting Hollow! I will soon check to see if LaLa is still around.

The next vid was from the Paton Center - definitely purplish and probably a Anna's, though at first Jamie and I thought it might be an Costa's.

We also visited Mary-Jo Ballater's wonderful Ash Canyon B and B near Ramsey Canyon, and compared notes with her on our very similar legal problems. I will write soon about this visit, but here I will just mention that we saw, but did not film,  a broad-tailed hummingbird. Mary-Jo hosts some unusual hummers in summer. She is probably the best place in the US to see Lucifers and the Plain-Capped Starthroat. M
PS Mary-Joe informs me that the above bird is probably an Anna's. A Costa's would be pre pink-purple, and the gorget would come down onto the top of the chest, like a British judge's wig.

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