Female Rufous Hummingbird

The weather is hot and dry, the shrubs are thirsty and calling for water so I watered each one individually with my garden hose. A Rufous hummingbird suddenly appeared near the water spray so I opened the hose nozzle wider to allow her to enjoy the fine spray. She faced the spray straight on with her little breast taking the force of the spray. It was evident that she throughly enjoyed the coolness of the water as it fell on her feathers. She would then fly away to a nearby shrub branch to clean herself and flutter her wings at probably 50 per second. She continued to fly into the spray three more times and always returning to the same branch before she felt satisfied with her morning hygiene and then flew off to another daily activity. These little birds love the bright red crocosmia flowers that grow in our garden and offer healthy nutrients since we don’t have bird feeders due to our cat. They become very aggressive toward other approaching hummingbirds that are interested in obtaining the nutrients from the flowers. It turns out to be an interesting battle between the two small birds where one eventually wins and returns to gathering the pollen.

The Rufous hummingbirds arrive in the northwest in late February to spend the summer months in our cooler climate and will soon migrate in August to South America for the winter months.

5 thoughts on “Female Rufous Hummingbird

  1. I just wanted to write the same words as Paula! I’ve never seen a real hummingbird, it must be very special! ciao from Italy! Sybille


  2. Paula, I replied to your comment about the rufous hummingbird on my wordpress blog. I accidently placed it in my comment section. If you’re interested in reading about the hummingbirds that habitat the Pacific Northwest it’s located there.


  3. Paula, I did not realize hummingbirds do not habitat in the area you live. I wonder if they are mainly in the Americas? This summer we have seen only the Rufous visit our yard to enjoy the nectar. It is a delight to watch them flutter in the spray from the water sprinkler; they hover like a helicopter and stop to rest and clean on a nearby branch before taking the next bath. We don’t offer them sugars from a feeder since we have many plants and bugs for them to obtain true nutrients. Here’s a little info on the species that habitat in the Pacific Northwest where I live.

    Rufous: Fast darting birds that will attack other birds in their territory and can be very vicious. Males have a glowing bright orange on back and belly with a vivid red throat. Females are green above with a rufous washed flank and tail. Habitat PNW in the summer and winter in Mexico.

    Anna’s: These little birds sing and will dive bomb passerby’s. You’d would not want to be stabbed by their sharp long beaks. They like bugs and will eat from feeders. Males are iridescent red at throat and head. Females have bronze-green body above and grey below. These birds feel comfortable staying the winter in the PNW w/o migrating south.

    Black-chinned birds are summer visitors staying mostly in the mountain forests then returning to Mexico during the winter. They have black, green and white on their chins; the male has a purple patch. It’s eggs are no larger than a coffee bean.

    Calliope: One of the smallest birds north of Mexican border (3 to 5 inches long) with long migrations from south to north. It lives in the mountains of PNW and winters in Mexico during the winter. It has a green upper body and gray below. The males have pink markings.

    Bird species migrate south and north in different areas all over the world. We don’t have storks in our area which I would love to see. We were lucky to see a nest built by a stork on top of a house chimney in the Chech-Republic several years ago but not the builder. (That’s almost like a scene from a child’s picture story book.)


  4. We have no hummingbirds in our country. I would be so inspired to draw and paint them if I would see them with their iridescent colours. Your hummingbird is lovely.


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