Thursday, April 02, 2015

Anna's Hummingbird on Chuparosa

A female Anna's Humingbird, Calypte anna, feasting on Chuparosa (Justicia californica) nectar.  The chuparosa is one of the finest nectar producers in the desert, refilling fairly rapidly with nectar.  The hummingbirds, having learned this tidy little fact, do rounds from chuparosa flower to chuparosa flower, coming back to each flower in intervals, giving each flower time to refill with nectar!  Studies have shown that hummingbirds will seek out the flowers that offer the nectar with the highest sucrose content (not fructose or any other sugar, just sucrose!).  Yep, they have a discriminating sweet tooth!

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