Golden Light, Hummingbird Flight
This male Anna's Hummingbird or Calypte anna, was checking me out between sips at my Father-In-Law's hummingbird feeder in Tucson, Arizona. The Anna's hummingbird was named for Anna Masséna, the Duchess of Rivoli. Only the adult male has the iridescent, magenta head, youngsters and females have a crown of green instead. These hummingbirds not only feed on nectar, but I was fascinated to find out that they can also catch insects in mid flight by opening their beaks wide and flying directly at their prey. To feed on nectar and tree sap, they use their protruding tongue. Another amazing fact about the Anna's hummingbird is that they have the fastest "shaking ratio" of any vertebrate. They can shake their little selves 55 times per second while in flight. They use this movement to rid their feathers of any excess pollen or dirt that has attached to them.