Sunday, July 14, 2019

Relaxing in Ramsey Canyon, Part Five: Hummingbirds

It's time for the fifth and final installment of posts about the days Denis and I spent relaxing in a cabin in Ramsey Canyon, Arizona. In the sky islands of the Huachuca Mountains, Ramsey Canyon is just a few miles from the Mexican border, and it's a paradise for anyone who loves wildlife.

Turkey gobbling would wake me in the morning, and I'd spend most of the day out on the deck trying to see how many camera batteries I could wear out. I'm sharing some of the photographs I took of the resident hummingbirds in this final installment.

On our first full day there, I was impressed by the internecine war between the broad-billed hummingbirds and the black-chinned hummingbirds, but that soon passed when I learned that the real king of the area was the blue-throated hummingbird. At twice the size of the others, it's easy to see why the blue-throated ruled the roost. Other than its size, the main thing I noticed about the blue-throated was its vocalizations; it even had one that sounded like a good old fashioned Bronx cheer. I'm used to two types of hummingbirds in Phoenix: the Anna's which stay here year-round and the black-chinned which leave to winter in Mexico. I know the sounds they make quite well, so it was a bit of a thrill for this critter lover to hear unfamiliar bird sounds and deduce which sound went with which bird.

But enough yakking-- let's get to those photographs!

A juvenile blue-throated hummingbird. One of the first identifiers that caught my eye was the white streaks above and below their eyes. You'd think the colors of their feathers would be the first thing, but the sun isn't always shining on them at the proper angle.

An adult blue-throated hummingbird. The white streaks are more pronounced, aren't they?

It's not polite to stick your tongue out at your photographer!

You can see why it's called a blue-throated hummingbird, that's for sure!

The blue-throats liked to perch up in a scrub oak to protect "their" feeders. Many an unwary black-chinned and broad-billed hummer got chased away while we were there.

It looks to me like this one's getting a bit sleepy. Time for a siesta!

You never know where the next threat is coming from. Must. Be. Vigilant.

An adult broad-billed hummingbird.

That bump on its beak is a bug carcass. Insects provide valuable protein for hummingbirds.

The blue-throats were around, so this broad-billed didn't waste time perching.

This time it looks as though "Godzilla" (what I called the meanest blue-throat) wasn't around; otherwise, this little guy wouldn't be napping!

Broad-bills are gorgeous, and this photo gives just a hint of that. Emerald green. Royal blue. I tried like a crazy person to get a photo when the sunlight turned its head into a fiery purple, but I never did manage to. When all three colors are blazing, these little flying jewels are glorious!

That concludes our stay in Ramsey Canyon. I hope you enjoyed it. If all the places we've stayed here in Arizona, I have to admit that it's my favorite. If you missed the other installments, here are the links to Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.


  1. How absolutely beautiful, Cathy! Just gorgeous! I saw a few hummingbirds just yesterday, but I could never get a shot like these. No wonder you love that place so much.

    1. "In my father's house are many mansions." For me, Ramsey Canyon is one of them.

  2. I love the colors those birds show off!

    1. So do I. It's simply amazing how many colors they can show off just by moving a fraction of an inch in one direction or another.


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