Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Evening Creature Feature, Costa’s Hummingbird

One of the reason’s I love the desert around Palm Springs, California is that is where you will find Costa’s Hummingbirds. Today I have a male with a some nice, clear, blue sky background. These big males mean business and take on all challengers!

Like many hummingbirds, Costa's Hummingbird can enter a torpid state under low ambient nighttime temperatures. The Costa’s heart will beat 500 to 900 times per minute at rest. During the torpid period the heart rate will drop to 50 beats per minute.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

While “we all know” that hummingbirds take nectar from flowers for food, many people do not realize that hummingbirds will take gnats and other tiny insects on the wing. I watched this one take several insects.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky©2013 Steve Borichevsky

The male Costa's Hummingbird's courtship display is a spirited series of swoops and arcing dives. Each high-speed dive will also pass within inches of the female, perched on a nearby branch, which will be accented by a high-pitched whistling sound as he swoops through the bottom of the loop.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky©2013 Steve Borichevsky

Costa’s call the Sonoran and Mojave deserts home. The binomial Calypte costae commemorates French nobleman Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa (1806-1864), Marquis de Beauregard. Costa began collecting minerals and birds in his younger days. He specialized in hummingbirds and the Costa’s Hummingbird was named in his honor by hummingbird expert Jules Bourcier (1797-1873).

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

I didn’t realize it until I got home, but I caught a real Kodak moment. Ooops! It’s okay. With that Yosemite Same mustache, he’s a real Cock-of-the-Rock.

Check out Camera Critters this week!


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely bird.. Nice pictures.. Regards

eileeninmd said...

They are beautiful little birds. I would love to see these hummers sometime! Wonderful series of photos, Steve!

Adam Jones said...

I so love the Hummingbird. Great pictures.

Christian Weiß said...

Great photos and very cute birds.

Karen said...

Love that beak!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful shots of the hummingbirds!

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