Sunday, March 04, 2012

New Bird: Costa's Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird (male), Calypte costae, Anza Borrego State Park, California. It's always fun to see a new hummingbird. These beautiful hummingbirds are typically found in arid scrub, deserts and washes from the Southwest U.S. through N.W. Mexico. The males can be identified by the brilliant violet-purple gorget (mask under the throat) which projects out to either side like a fu manchu mustache. As with Anna's the color is only apparent when the sun is reflecting off of the gorget.

Ironically, we went to the Anza Borrego Desert looking for wildflowers and found only a few tiny wild flowers. The more fragile ones had already bloomed out with the multiple waves of hot and cold weather. On the other hand, the cacti were just starting. In spite of the disappointing dearth of wildflowers, there were a wealth of Costa's hummingbirds at the gently irrigated, bountiful wildflower garden at the Anza Borrego State Park Visitor's Center. There was even reputedly a hummingbird nest; however, it was well hidden and managed to elude us.

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