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Sonoran Desert Museum, Part 2

My favorite part of the museum is the hummingbird aviary. Yes, an entire enclosure for hummingbirds! These tiny jewels offer amazing flying acrobatic skills — which makes them tough to photograph except when they land on a perch. This, I believe is an Anna's Hummingbird — not native to Arizona but a recent invader from California, which nests in the wild areas and in residential neighborhoods in winter.

Hummingbirds are hard to spot when resting since they are small and blend so well into the foliage. This appears to be an immature Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Next up is a Broad-billed Hummingbird. which is found in the lower mountain canyons and in the mesquite bosques of the larger washes and rivers. Habitats also include the thorn forest and thornscrub of southern Sonora.

I am certainly not an expert in identifying hummingbirds but this appears to be a mature Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Looks like another Anna's Hummingbird with its tongue extended. This is, of course, a great adaptation to allow hummingbirds to drink the nectar of long tubular flowers.

This appears to be a female hummingbird but their dull coloration makes it even harder for the non-expert to identify. This photo does show how the females blend into the background to reduce the threat from predators.

BTW, speaking of predators — a few years ago, I spotted a roadrunner which had impaled a hummingbird on its beak. I was amazed since hummingbirds are so fast — but roadrunners are fast too (just ask Wile E. Coyote).

I took a chance with this shot — but the wings beat so fast they are blurred. I guess you'll have to visit and see them with your naked eyes.

Another Broad-tailed Hummingbird? Female perhaps?

I'll take a guess — another Anna's Hummingbird. Let me know if you have a better guess.

I think it's another Broad-tailed female.

My last shot in the Hummingbird Aviary was looking into a bright sky so very little color came through — but I kind of like the look.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com