Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna

Anna's Hummingbirds, pair mating, 2/8/04, Stanford campus
The picture above of a mating pair resulted from one of those bits of good luck you can stumble into if you happen to be carrying a camera at the right moment, as I was when I took a walk around my neighborhood not long after I got serious about bird photography. I heard the loud "chup!" created by the tail feathers of the male Anna's at the bottom of the J-shaped dive that is the centerpiece of his spectacular courting display. I noticed the female crouching nearby on a branch, lit by a ray of sunshine throught the foliage. I focused on her, and sure enough, the male approached her, and as they copulated I was able to get this picture, a version of which appeared in Birder's World, June 2004.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, male, 4/9/11, Ed Levin Park
The Anna's Hummingbird male is the only North American hummingbird to show red both above and below the bill, crown and gorget. The iridescent red feathers appear black or gray, as in the picture at the top, unless they are directly reflecting incident light, as in the two pictures above and the several below.

Anna's Hummingbird, male, 3/14/08, Palo Alto Baylands

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, male. 3/20/04, my yard, Stanford campus

Anna's Hummingbird, male, 8/22/04, my yard, Stanford campus

Anna's Hummingbird, male, 4/13/10, Ed Levin Park

Anna's Hummingbird
Here's an Anna's male viewed from the side, feeding, with the gorget and crown feathers appearing mostly gray.

Anna's Hummingbird
An Anna's female.

Anna's Hummingbirds
Above and below, female with two nestlings. Female hummingbirds raise their young all by themselves; males play no role after mating.

Anna's Hummingbirds

Anna's Hummiingbird, male, 4/23/06, my yard, Stanford campus
The Anna's male above seemed to be sending a message; hummingbirds do live short but intense lives. This picture was also published in Birder's World.