Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hummingbird Delight

I was driving along a small suburban street. A median appeared in the middle of the road, crowded with tall bushes. As I was passing, I decided to slow down to examine for birds. I was not disappointed. Immediately, I espied a small green-backed hummingbird hovering in front of a red-orange tubular flower. I never got any better look than that, as it quickly zipped away, so I'll refrain from speculating on the ID.

A leucistic hummingbird, in all it's pale glory.

The excitement didn't stop there though. While I was straining my eyes, and craning my neck out the driver's side window for the first hummer, along came another. I was startled by a leucistic (mostly white, but not fully albino) hummer zooming towards me. As quickly as it came, it stopped and hovered just a couple of feet away from my face. I stared at it, awestruck. It hung there, like a Christmas ornament. Thankfully, I wasn't on a busy street. Eventually I was able to notice faint bluish purple on the the top side of it's head, along with some gray patches on the back. As far as I could tell this was a Violet-crowned Hummingbird. Neeeeto!

Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps)
Image online

I then pulled my head into the car, ready to move on. I was still parked in the middle of the road after all. The ghostly hummer advanced, and grew as it sidled up to my window! The dream faded with the scene of this hummingbird, now the size of a crow, attempting to squeeze into the window as it was closing. A trifle unnerving.

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