Sights and sounds on the deck of our old apartment in Mountain View, California.

Click on a picture to see a bigger version.


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These are male Anna's Hummingbirds, showing the iridescent pink coloured head and throat (called the gorget). This iridescent colour can only be seen from one angle, otherwise the feathers look black.

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All the other pictures and the sound clip on this page are of 'Vlad the Impaler'. He was moulting when he first arrived at our feeder, and was hard to identify. The size of the gorget in the pictures is very variable, and we thought that he may he a moulting Anna's.

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We are now pretty sure that he is a broad tailed Hummingbird. His gorget is smaller and rose coloured and his head is green. We are a little surprises because we do not live in the Rockies where broad tailed hummers are usually found!

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Vlad is very territorial - he sits on top of a perch near the feeder for most of the day either singing or chirping. Other males will try to dislodge him by dive-bombing him from great heights, but rarely with success. He then chases the rival away over the neighbouring apartments.

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These last two photos were taken with a flash.


Some files in mp3 format.

play soundclip This is vlad sitting on his perch singing a song

play soundclip Still on his perch vlad is now being divebombed by another hummer - you can hear the zip of the second hummer's wings after each song burst

play soundclip This is another short song

play soundclip The same short song slowed down 4 times to make it easier to hear the tune.

play soundclip And now slowed down 32 times

play soundclip Finally, one slowed down 32 times but (through the miracle of modern science) only lowered in pitch 3 octaves

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