|Anna's Hummingbird in flight - Wikimedia|
Anna's Hummingbird** is tiny for a bird but large for a hummer. It consumes a higher percent of insects in its diet than other hummingbird species. Its rare appearance in Missouri is usually in late fall, visiting feeders after our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have migrated. They have even stayed over winter at a heated feeder.
Their original range a hundred years ago was in the evergreen shrubs of coastal California. Their range has expanded considerably since then, probably due to humans planting gardens and hanging bird feeders. They are more cold tolerant than other hummingbird species and now are found in British Columbia as well as occasionally in the east. One factor is their ability to slow their heart rate to 1/15th of its daytime rate which conserves energy and body heat. Their normal body temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit can drop to 48 degrees, then rise again when the temperature rises.
|To catch a hummingbird|
In addition to advancing science, it will give us a chance to see if it returns to the same location (site fidelity). Jane Nicholas from Jackson County in eastern Missouri reported an occurrence on Facebook:
"That's so cool! I have a male Rufous at my house for the second winter. He was banded last year and has been confirmed a couple weeks ago to be the same bird. Good luck with your wonderful bird!"
|Sarah and Mike Gugliotta release the newly banded Anna's Hummingbird|
* Photographs by Greg Swick of Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS).
** The name Anna's comes from Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli (1802–1887) the wife of Francois Victor Massena, 2nd Duke of Rivoli. She became the head of the household of the Empress Eugenie. It was named by Rene Primevere Lesson, a famous French surgeon and naturalist. In addition to being the first European to see live birds of paradise, he was smart enough to gain political points by naming this bird after Anna!
Birth of hummingbirds video.