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West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC

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rufous hummingbird

Hummingbird Magic

Every day I marvel at the tiny masterpieces flitting around my porch, bickering about who gets to feed at which perch or who gets the largest flowers. Rarely do I have time to sit in the yard with my camera to document their speedy travels, however, recently I took a break from my morning routine to nestle myself in the grass and patiently wait for them to forget about me again. Within 10 minutes it paid off and 2 juvenile rufous hummingbirds were competing for the rich, ruby red bee balm blooms a short distance away. After a while, they seemed to reach some sort of settlement amongst themselves and began to tolerate each other’s presence.

I find natural flower based hummingbird photos more aesthetically pleasing than ones with a plastic feeder in them. They can be harder to plan for, but a garden with a few of their favourites will create a plethora of unique photo opportunities for you! Typically hummingbirds are attracted to bell-shaped flowers, in red if possible. Bee balm has been a successful attractant for every garden I have seen it in.

In general, the greater the variety of flowers in your garden, the more success you will have with hummingbirds, butterflies and bees! The greater the biodiversity in your yard, the healthier the ecosystem you create will be, and isn’t that something we would all love to strive for?

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A Celebration of Spring Birdwatching!

Hummingbirds are such a wonderful sign of Spring! In Ahousaht, Anna’s hummingbirds stick around year round. We have had anywhere between 1 and 3 birds at our feeder each day through the colder months. Just this week, the rufous hummingbirds have made an appearance and there are two individuals competing for the feeder. I’ve found that the rufous hummingbirds are flightier and more timid than the Anna’s who have been around all year. Perhaps with time the Rufous’ will get used to me too!

I also had a gorgeous group of purple finches show up at my feeder this week! Rather than a purple colour, they appear as if they have been “dipped in Raspberry juice”. A rather apt description I think! They prefer moving around the middle of trees, closer to the trunk, so it took a lot of patience to get this shot on an exterior branch of the cedar tree while this individual vied for position at the feeder.

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Ahousaht is always a phenomenal place for birdwatching. But I don’t think you would have much success if you only visited for a day. Ahousaht has it’s own pace. Indian time, people joke. The birds have their own time too… I find I have my best sightings when I’m not looking – Usually while I’m having coffee in the living room. My hummingbird feeders are visible through one window and the birdfeeders and large Spruce and Cedar trees out the other window. There’s a small Spruce tree straight out the front door that the hummingbirds like to sit in between their turns at the feeder. And of course, there’s our little Baltimore Oriole that came right up to the porch railing throughout the winter!

My advice for birdwatchers coming to Ahousaht, Stay a while! Enjoy the community and what is has to offer. Get to know the locals. Walk the trail and beaches. Sit for a while on the docks or pick out your favourite driftlog to perch on. The birds will come in their own time.

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