Readers’ wildlife photographs

April 7, 2015 • 7:00 am

Reader Charles sent some hummers from California:

The hummingbirds have returned to my neck of the woods in northern California.  Here are a few photos from this week. I have only identified two species thus far:  Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) and Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus ).  The male Anna’s has the bright magenta throat and the male Rufous has the bright orange throat. Although close to the feeder, the cats just ignore them.
Female rufous hummingbird:

female rufous-7934


How many hummingbirds are in the group photo? (Note the bee):



Male Anna’s hummingbird:

male Anna's-8162

Moar male Anna’s:

male Anna's-8312

Male rufous:

male rufous-8329

Male rufous:

male rufous-8509

Finally, a ring-necked pheasant (Phiasianus colchicus) from Stephen Barnard in Idaho, who notes, “These aren’t native. They’re raised and released for hunting.” [JAC: they were introduced to the U.S. from their native Asia in the 1880s.]


26 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. Wow, I’ve never seen that many hummingbirds at a feeder at one time. “Ours” always fight each other and only one is allowed to dine at a time.

    Nice photos!

    1. Thank you. There is a crowd (“charm” ?) like this at sunrise, noon and sunset. At other times the feeder is patrolled by one or more of the male Rufous. At the peak times, the numbers must overwhelm them.

  2. These are all breathtaking photos. There are at least 20 hummingbirds plus a passel of them hidden behind the feeder.

    I could never kill anything as gorgeous as that pheasant.

    Thanks, Charles and Stephen.

  3. Here in southwest Iowa, the pheasant & quail were probably as populous as anywhere in America. And this was all natural, not like the human intervention in places like south Dakota and where you are. Today there are not nearly so many and I do not have a clear reason why.

    Some have said the introduction of turkeys is responsible for this. Also, there are so many more birds of prey.

        1. It’s possible they don’t have as much food here from agricultural waste. There’s no corn grown in this valley, for example.

  4. I can’t wait until the hummingbirds come back here – a few more weeks at least for the early ones to return! We don’t even hear Spring Peeper frogs yet & those things peep when it’s still pretty cold outside.

      1. I agree; the hummingbirds seem very wary around the bees. The bees are not very aggressive but later will come the hornets.

  5. Great shots! Man that is a lot of hummers…like others have commented, I’ve never seen so many at one time. If they’re in California, they should be in Washington soon.

    Pheasants are beautiful and golden pheasants I think are even more beautiful than ringnecks, though I don’t think golden pheasants are found in the US. Very tasty birds as well, especially if you like dark meat.

  6. I’m not really into hunting, but last year an outfitter took me on a pheasant hunt in exchange for letting him take an elk on my place. They are tasty. The most enjoyable thing for me was watching his English Setter work. Scored a Chukar, too, which is another introduced upland game bird.

  7. Charles, what gorgeous shots! One tough bird to photograph, too! Like others here I envy your abundance, and like most easterners I envy your variety as well.

  8. Hummingbirds are amazing. I saw them live for the first time last year near Sequoia National Park. Absolutely astonishing how small the are. They were Anna’s I think and there were lots of them at each feeder. The photos I got were not good though.

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