The Antillean Crested Hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family. It is found in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, north-east Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, semi-arid forests and heavily degraded former forest.
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) is a medium-sized hummingbird native to the west coast of North America. This bird was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.
Anna’s Hummingbird is 3.9 to 4.3 in (9.9 to 10.9 cm) long. It has a bronze-green back, a pale grey chest and belly, and green flanks. Its bill is long, straight and slender. The adult male has an iridescent crimson-red crown and throat, and a dark, slightly forked tail. Anna’s is the only North American hummingbird species with a red crown. Females and juveniles have a green crown, a grey throat with some red markings, a grey chest and belly, and a dark, rounded tail with white tips on the outer feathers.
These birds feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue. They also consume small insects caught in flight. A PBS documentary that first aired January 10, 2010, shows how Anna’s Hummingbirds eat flying insects (at 16:45). They aim for the flying insect, then open their beaks very wide. That technique has a greater success rate than trying to aim the end of a long beak at the insect.
While collecting nectar, they also assist in plant pollination. This species sometimes consumes tree sap.
A recent study found that the Anna’s hummingbird can shake their bodies 55 times per second while in flight. This shimmy, when done in dry weather, can shake off pollen or dirt from their feathers similar to how a wet shake by a dog removes water. This rate of shaking is the fastest of any vertebrate on earth.
Open-wooded or shrubby areas and mountain meadows along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to Arizona make up C. anna’s breeding habitat. The female raises the young without the assistance of the male. The female bird builds a large nest in a shrub or tree, or in vines or on wires. The round, 3.8-to-5.1-centimetre (1.5 to 2.0 in) diameter nest is built of very small twigs, lichen and other mosses, and often lined with downy feathers or animal hair. The nest materials are bound together with spider silk or other sticky materials. They are known to nest early as mid-December and as late as June.
Unlike most hummingbirds, the male Anna’s Hummingbird sings during courtship. The song is thin and squeaky. During the breeding season, males can be observed performing a remarkable display, called a display dive, on their territories. The males also use the dive display to drive away rivals or intruders of other species. When a female flies onto a male’s territory, he rises up approximately 30 m (98 ft) before diving over the recipient. As he approaches the bottom of the dive the males reach an average speed of 27 m/s (89 ft/s), which is 385 body lengths per second. At the bottom of the dive the male travels 23 m/s (51 mph), and produces a loud sound described by some as an “explosive squeak” with his outer tail-feathers.
Anna’s Hummingbirds will sometimes hybridize with other species, but this is not very common. These natural hybrids have been mistaken for new species. A bird, allegedly collected in Bolaños, Mexico, was described and named Selasphorus floresii(Gould, 1861), or Floresi’s Hummingbird. Several more specimens were collected in California over a long period, and the species was considered extremely rare. It was later determined that the specimens were the hybrid offspring of an Anna’s Hummingbird and an Allen’s Hummingbird. A single bird collected in Santa Barbara, California, was described and named Trochilus violajugulum (Jeffries, 1888), or Violet-throated Hummingbird. It was later determined to be a hybrid between an Anna’s Hummingbird and a Black-chinned Hummingbird.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are found along the western coast of North America, from southern Canada to northern Baja California, and inland to southern Arizona. They tend to be permanent residents within their range, and are very territorial. However, birds have been spotted far outside their range in such places as southern Alaska, Saskatchewan, New York, Florida, Louisiana and Newfoundland.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds to spend the winter in northern climates; they are able to do this as there are enough winter flowers and feeders to support them. During cold temperatures, Anna’s Hummingbirds gradually gain weight during the day as they convert sugar to fat. In addition, hummingbirds with inadequate stores of body fat or insufficient plumage are able to survive periods of sub-freezing weather by lowering their metabolic rate and entering a state of torpor.
There are an estimated 1.5 million Anna’s Hummingbirds. Their population appears to be stable, and they are not considered an endangered species.
The Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus or Parus caeruleus) is a small passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. The bird is easily recognisable by its blue and yellow plumage, but various authorities dispute their scientific classification.
Eurasian Blue Tits, usually resident and non-migratory birds, are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands with a high proportion of oak. They usually nest in tree holes, although they easily adapt to nest boxes where necessary. Their main rival for nests and in the search for food is the much larger Great Tit.
The Eurasian Blue Tit prefers insects and spiders for their diet. Outside the breeding season, they also eat seeds and other vegetable-based foods. The birds are famed for their skill, as they can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food.
The Eurasian Blue Tit is usually 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long with a wingspan of 18 centimetres (7.1 in) for all genders, and weighs about 11 grams (0.39 oz).
A typical Eurasian Blue Tit has an azure blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye, and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen – the yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillars eaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs bluish grey, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young Blue Tits are noticeably more yellow.
There are currently around 20–44 million pairs in Europe. The Eurasian Blue Tit and the related hybrids are considered native species in areas of the European continent with a mainly temperate or Mediterranean climate, and in parts of the Middle East. These areas include the United Kingdom and most of theEuropean Economic Area (except Malta, where they are considered vagrant, and Iceland, where they are absent), plus: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, the Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey and Ukraine.
Eurasian Blue and Great Tits form mixed winter flocks, and the former are perhaps the better gymnasts in the slender twigs. A Eurasian Blue Tit will often ascend a trunk in short jerky hops, imitating a Treecreeper. As a rule the bird roosts in ivy orevergreens, but in harsh winters will nest wherever there is a suitable small hole, be it in a tree or nesting box. They are very agile and can hang from almost anywhere.
This is a common and popular European garden bird, due to its perky acrobatic performances when feeding on nuts or suet. It swings beneath the holder, calling “tee, tee, tee” or a scolding “churr”.
The Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus) is a near passerine bird in the trogon family, Trogonidae. It is also called “Yellow-bellied Trogon”, but as it is not the only trogon with a yellow belly this should be avoided. It breeds in lowlands from Honduras south to western Ecuador and northern Argentina.
Like most trogons, it has distinctive male and female plumages and with soft colourful feathers. This relatively small species is 23–24 cm long and weighs 54-57 g, with a white undertail with black barring, a yellow bill and wing coverts which are vermiculated with black and white, but appear grey at any distance. The male Black-throated Trogon has a green head, upper breast and back, black face and throat, and golden yellow belly. The female has a brown head, upper breast and back, rufous upper tail and yellow belly. Immatures resemble the adults but are duller, and young males have a brown throat, breast and wing coverts.
The call is a churring krrrrrr, and the song is a typical trogon series of a few clear whistles, cuh cuh cuh cuh.
It is a resident of the lower levels of damp tropical forests, and prefers the deep shade of the understory. Their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. They typically perch upright and motionless.
Black-throated Trogons feed mainly on arthropods as well as some fruit, often taken in flight; they are one of the most insectivorous trogon species of their range. They opportunistically catch arthropods that have been startled by other predators, such as coatis (Nasua spp.).