the Allen's Hummingbird breeds only along a narrow
strip of coastal California and southern Oregon
I have a feeder out on my back porch and also the wire basket that
is for holding tomato plants up in the summer. They love to land and
stay on the wire basket, I had taken it down and then they seemed to
be looking for it and I missed them, so I put it back in the tomato
tub for good and I can watch them and the dragonflies too, sometimes
at the same time. They stay much longer on it then they do on the feeder,
which they seem to fight over, chasing each other off. these photos
are taken through my sliding glass doors, so have a little bit of reflections
on them and maybe not as clear as they could be, but it works for me.
I use my Soni camera and put it on the motion or low lighting modes
for best results.
This is a very tiny bird, with mostly rusty plumage. The
male has iridescent red throat with a shiny green back.
Gorget (throat) iridescent scarlet. Gorget with elongated feathers
projecting slightly to the sides. Top of head and back dull metallic
bronze or bronze-green. Sides of face, sides of chest, and flanks
plain cinnamon-rufous. Tail feathers pointed, and colored orange
with dark tips. Outermost tail feather very narrow. Wings dusky.
Chest white. Belly and undertail coverts buffy. White spot behind
black eye. Legs and feet dusky. Occasional individuals have orange
Chin, throat, and chest dull white. Center of throat with variably
sized patch of red feathers. Sides and flanks cinnamon-rufous.
Back metallic bronze-green, head slightly duller. Wings dusky.
Outermost three pairs of tail feathers orange at bases, black in
the middle, and white on the tips. Middle pair of tail feathers
bronze-green, dusky at tips, with orange edges to green base. Next
pair out with rufous base, then bronze-green, and black tips. Undertail
coverts pale cinnamon.
Immature similar to adult female, but has less spotting on throat
and less rufous on flanks; male more rusty in the base of the tail.
- Breeding male and female Allen's Hummingbirds have different
habitat preferences. The male sets up a territory overseeing open
areas of coastal scrub vegetation or riparian shrubs, where he
often perches conspicuously on exposed leafless branches. The female
selects nest sites in more densely vegetated areas and forests.
- Two subspecies of Allen's Hummingbirds are recognized. They differ
only slightly in appearance, but sedentarius of very southern California
is nonmigratory, and the more northerly breeding, slightly smaller
sasin spends the winter in Mexico.
- The Allen's Hummingbird is remarkably early migrant compared
with most North American birds. Northbound birds may depart on
spring migration as early as December and arrive on the summer
breeding grounds as early as January. Adult males may begin their
southward fall migration in mid-May and arrive on winter grounds
as early as August.