Thank you for visiting the Hummingbird Migration Tracker Map! Get involved with hummingbird migration with the Hummingbird Migration Map! This interactive tool lets you utilize the power of Google's map application while you visit Hummingbird Migration Map app. This app is going to focus on Anna's Hummingbird "Calypte Anna" that is seen in the bay area all time of year.
Here are some of the ways in which you can participate in tracking hummingbirds with the new Hummingbird Migration Map.
Learn more about the bay area's most popular Anna’s Hummingbird is among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast, yet they're anything but common in appearance. With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, they are more like flying jewelry than birds. Though no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel, Anna’s Hummingbirds make a strong impression. In their thrilling courtship displays, males climb up to 130 feet into the air and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers.
This hardy little bird is a permanent resident along our Pacific Coast, staying through the winter in many areas where no other hummingbirds are present. More vocal than most hummingbirds, males have a buzzy song, often given while perched. In recent decades the species has expanded its range, probably helped along by flowers and feeders in suburban gardens; it now nests north to British Columbia and east to Arizona.
Learning about hummingbirds will make it easier to attract these flying jewels to your hummingbird feeders. Have you ever wondered... How fast do hummingbirds' wings flap? Why do they seem to change colors in flight? What do hummingbirds eat? Where do they go in the winter? Here are a few facts about the hummingbird that every backyard bird watcher should know.
The hummingbird family, Trochilidae, can only be found in the Western Hemisphere. There are 328 known species of hummingbirds. Tyrant flycatchers are the only family of wild birds to have more known species. There are only about 20 species of hummingbirds that visit North America and Mexico. The 300 plus additional species are considerably more diverse in size, color patterns and lifestyle.
What do hummingbirds eat? Most of us think of flower nectar when answering this question. Another one of the interesting facts about the hummingbird is that they also eat small flying insects. They catch them while flying in and out of a swarm or by flying out from a perch.
How big are hummingbird eggs? Hummingbird eggs are about the size of a navy bean. The clutch normally contains two eggs. There is usually a two-day interval between the laying of the first egg and the second one. Most hummingbirds that breed in North America migrate to more tropical climates for the winter. As sunlight and the food source of nectars and insects decrease and the temperatures start to fall, the hummers will begin their journey south to Central America. Many hummingbirds that migrate to North America travel amazing distances. Part of the trip includes a non-stop, 500-mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico.
Do hummingbirds change colors? Iridescent colors such as those of hummingbird gorgets (the gorget is the brilliantly colored area on the throat of a male hummingbird), are illusions caused by refraction of light. Changes in the angles from which light strikes the gorget give the effect of different colors. When sunlight is not striking the gorget at the right angle the feathers will appear all black.
Do hummingbirds sing? Hummingbirds are not known for having a pleasing melody. Most of them manage only a few strident, scratchy notes. Hummingbirds are better known for their distinctive "zinging" noises made with their wings.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are common in urban and suburban settings as well as wilder places such as chaparral, coastal scrub, oak savannahs, and open woodland. They are notably common around eucalyptus trees, even though eucalyptus was only introduced to the West Coast in the mid-nineteenth century.
Anna’s Hummingbirds eat nectar from many flowering plants, including currant, gooseberry, manzanita, and many introduced species such as eucalyptus. They also eat a wide array of insects from understory leaves, crevices, streambanks, or caught in spider webs, plucked from the air, or taken from flowers. Primarily they target smaller insects, like midges, whiteflies, bees and leaf hoppers (one female was found with 32 leafhoppers in her stomach at once). They also help themselves to tree sap (and insects caught in it) leaking out from holes made by sapsuckers.
Females choose the nest site, usually a horizontal branch of trees or shrubs 6-20 feet off the ground (occasionally higher) near a source of nectar. They often build nests in oak, sycamore, or eucalyptus trees, but they may use vines, shrubs or even poison oak. They use conifers less frequently.
The female builds the nest out of plant down and spider webs, sitting in the nest and building the cup rim up around her. Nests take around a week to build and are 1 inch tall by 1.5 inches in diameter. They may be built of cattail, willow, leaves, thistle, or small feathers and bound together by spider webs or insect cocoons. They may decorate the outside with lichens, mosses, or even paint chips. They sometimes steal these from other active nests.
Anna’s Hummingbirds hover deftly and zip from flower to flower. They are at their most splendid when performing their wild courtship dives. A male flies as high as 130 feet in the air and then plummets toward the ground (and the watching female), where he lets loose a unique short high-pitched noise made by air whipping through his tail feathers. As courtship progresses, the male chases a receptive female, who leads him toward her nest site, and perches again. The male then performs a “shuttle display,” where he swings back and forth about a foot above the female, keeping his body horizontal and his head down toward the female, often singing an intense song. When males are not feeding or performing, they often sit fairly high in a bush or small tree, noisily chattering. Males and females do not form pairs, and both sexes likely mate with more than one individual per season. Only the females care for the young.
Anna's Hummingbirds populations increased by over 2% per year between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates the global breeding population at 5 million, with 96% in the United States, 13% spending part of the year in Canada and 15% in Mexico. They rate an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. The Anna’s Hummingbird is the most common hummingbird on the West Coast, and it has thrived alongside human habitation. Its range has increased dramatically since the 1930s, when it was found only in California and Baja California. Thanks to widespread backyard feeders and introduced trees such as eucalyptus, it now occurs in healthy numbers all the way to Vancouver, Canada. Even so, Anna’s Hummingbirds can fall prey to outdoor cats in gardens where flowers grow close to the ground.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are welcome backyard birds and are easy to attract. Set out a hummingbird feeder, then mix your own hummingbird food using one part sugar to four parts water. Don't use honey or food coloring. Anna’s don’t migrate much, so don’t be surprised if the bird visits your feeder all year long. Read more about feeding hummingbirds here, and find out more about food and feeders by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list. .
Clark, Christopher J. and Stephen M. Russell. 2012. Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.
North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.
Partners in Flight. 2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.
Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.
Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.
Humming birds are one of the smallest very adorable looking birds that are commonly seen even places like your backyard. Wherever there are nectar-rich flowers there are high chances of coming across a hummingbird. These are interesting little creatures that are so hyperactive in behavior with the numerous flaps of wings they perform to hover in the air. They can flap their wings 12-90 times per second. The name of this bird was coined from the characteristic humming sound made by the rapid flaps of its wings.
Anna's Hummingbird has expanded its range dramatically since the mid-1930s. It once nested only on the Pacific slope of northern Baja California and California north to the San Francisco Bay area, but now breeds north to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, eastward through southern Arizona, and it has an increasing presence in West Texas. This species' effective use of widely cultivated urban and suburban exotic plants and hummingbird feeders has contributed to its increased numbers and expanded range. In many localities Anna's is present throughout the year, although it is rarely known if nesting birds are resident or if they are replaced by individuals from another region.
Male Anna's Hummingbirds attract attention through their elaborate dive displays, in which they ascend ~35 meters and then plummet toward their target—a female Anna's Hummingbird or other bird. Males sing more conspicuously than any other North American hummingbird, and their songs are learned and complex, unusual in nonpasserine birds.
Anna's Hummingbird was originally named Ornismya anna by René Primevère Lesson in 1829, based on specimens collected by Paolo-Émilio Botta and owned by the duke and duchess of Rivoli. Lesson regarded it as one of the most beautiful hummingbirds, on account of “the bright sparkle of a red cap of the richest amethyst...” on the male's head, and so named it after the duchess of Rivoli, Anna de Belle Masséna. Gould (1861) placed it in a new genus, Calypte, for “not only the throat, but the entire head as glitteringly resplendent as if they had been dipped in molten metal”. Calypte is greek (Кαλυπτη) for covered or hood (Holloway 2003), a reference to the male's iridescent crown. Males turn their head from side to side as they sing, flashing the brilliant iridescence as a signal to other hummingbirds.
Female Anna's Hummingbirds are less conspicuous than males and sometimes defend feeding territories, but usually away from those of males. They associate with males only long enough to copulate. The female constructs the nest, incubates the eggs, and cares for nestlings, typically in winter and early spring, timed with the arrival of winter rain in the Mediterranean climate of California, and the consequent increased availability of nectar and small insects for food.
Following are a list of some amazing fun facts about these exceptional creatures: