I am back in California for the week, and had some time today to wander through the Berkeley Botanical Gardens. One species of manzanita, one of the common chaparral plants here in California, was in flower, and the hummingbirds had staked it out. A very territorial male Anna’s Hummingbird was buzzing the flowers right above my head, giving me great views of his foraging attempts. But although I took about 50 photos of him from all angles, I never managed to get the sun reflection just right to light up his brilliant magenta throat.
It looks like the bird is balancing on its tail in some extreme balletic movement as it hovers in front of the flowers.
Anna’s Hummingbird is one of the most common hummers in the western U.S., and when flowering shrubs are blooming in the chapparal, you tend to see lots of these birds. I have written more about them in a previous post — so go here if you want to read more about the “bird named for a Duchess”.