Tag Archives: hummingbirds

Watch This Space, an Update

A short ten days ago I posted a piece called Watch This Space. If you follow the link, you will find tiny, newly hatched hummingbirds in the nest. I admit that I was negligent in following up on the chicks’ progress. Eleven days after I took those photos I had lunch with Jill, who mentioned that I should come by her house because the tiny birds were now about to fledge. I went to her house yesterday evening, and one of the chicks had already fledged, leaving one still in the nest. I was fortunate to get photos of the remaining chick.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, a closer view.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, a closer view.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, even closer.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, even closer.

Update: Jill called me today, August 18th, and said that she watched the chick fledge at about 10:00 a.m. today.

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Hummingbirds at Sandia Crest–Part II

Yesterday I posted photos of individual hummingbirds at Sandia Crest. Those photos, however, do not begin to show the large numbers of hummingbirds that were at the feeders. Here are a few group photos:

Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico. Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico. Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

I took this short video of the hummingbirds skirmishes at the feeders. I hope you enjoy it.

I hope to do one more blog post on this trip to Sandia Crest which will show the lovely scenery and views from the area.

View of the tram at Sandia Crest

Update: I have posted photos and commentary on my walk up to Sandia Crest on my Photo Flurries blog.

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A Summer Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I decided to visit Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Bill is very enthusiastic about dragonflies, and there are many of them at Bosque del Apache in summer. I am always up for a road trip. It had been several years since I had visited there in summer, and I was looking forward to seeing the refuge. I knew it would be hot, and so I packed lots of cold drinks along with a cold picnic lunch.

We arrived at the refuge at mid-morning. As usual, the view across the refuge toward the hills was lovely.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills, Bosque del Apache NWR.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills.

It was interesting to see that in summer, the areas which in fall and winter are ponds for migrating birds are covered with plants that will become food for ducks, geese and cranes when the ponding areas are flooded in fall.

Pond area, Bosque del Apache NWR

In fall this area will be flooded and will become a pond for migrating waterfowl.

With temperatures hovering near 100ºF there was not a great deal of bird activity, but we did see a few birds:

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron hunts in an acequia

Black Phoebe

A Black Phoebe hunts for insects at a pond on the Marsh Loop.

An unruly gang of Neotropic Cormorants were roosting on snags along the Seasonal road.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants

We saw Blue Grosbeaks and Northern Mockingbirds and a few raptors. Either they were too far away for photos, or I was not quick enough with my camera. What we did see were dragonflies. They were beautiful!

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Blue Darter

Blue Darter

By early afternoon Bosque Bill and I were hot and tired, and we took a break to eat our picnic lunch and tour the Visitor’s Center. After a lovely lunch we walked around the Visitor’s Center. Bosque Bill flushed a large covey of Gambel’s Quail sheltering from the midday sun under a Three-Leaf Sumac. I don’t know who was more startled, Bill or the quail. I was laughing so hard that I didn’t get a photo.

I sat in the (blessedly) air-conditioned Visitor’s Center and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders. Black-chinned Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds were very busy defending the food source. I took some photos through the viewing window.

Male Rufous Hummingbird

A male Rufous Hummingbird vigilantly guards the feeder.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds share the feeder with the Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Another look at the hummingbirds around the feeder.

There were Bullock’s and Scott’s Orioles at the feeders as well.

Scott's Oriole

The hummingbirds fled when a Scott's Oriole landed on the feeder.

Scott's Oriole

This Scott's Oriole likes hummingbird nectar.

Bullock's Oriole

A Bullock's Oriole watches from a nearby tree …

Bullock's Oriole

… and announces his arrival at the feeder.

Very few people visit Bosque del Apache in summer. It is hot, and it lacks the large numbers of migratory waterfowl that are present in the other seasons. There is still a great deal to see.

Flowers

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Hummingbird Chicks at the Rio Grande Nature Center

It has been extremely dry in New Mexico this year. There have been many terrible fires that have caused a great deal of damage. Because of the extreme fire damage, many of the areas that I like to visit to watch and photograph birds and wildlife have been closed to the public. Last weekend, after I visited a local Farmer’s Market, I decided to see if the Rio Grande Nature Center was open. The nature center and the grounds around it were open, although the part that extends into the Rio Grande Bosque was closed. While I was walking around the grounds, I saw quite a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds. One landed on a branch fairly close to me. As I stopped to observe her, I noticed that she had two chicks in a nest near where she landed. The nest was inside a large bush, and the lighting conditions were not the best. However, I was able to take a number of photographs.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks, another angle.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Waiting for Mom to come back to the nest.

I hoped that if I stayed quietly near the nest, the mother hummingbird would return to feed the chicks. I stood quietly and waited, and she arrived within five minutes.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Mom and chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center

Mom hummingbird arrives at the nest.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Mom and chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center,.

Feeding one of the chicks.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Mom and chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

The second chick looks impatient.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Mom and chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

The other chick is fed.

Black-chinned Hummingbird Mom and chicks, Rio Grande Nature Center.

An un-cropped photo shows how tiny the nest really is.

Apparently when Mom Hummingbird is not taking care of the chicks she can be found hanging out at the local bar.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rio Grande Nature Center

Local hummingbird bar.

When I stopped by the Rio Grande Nature Center a little more than a week later, the chicks had fledged and the nest was deserted. I will check back to see if this little hummingbird mom will raise more chicks this year.

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Filed under Albuquerque birds, New Mexico birds, Rio Grande Nature Center