Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) was named for Anne Debelle (1802 – 1887), a French courtier.
Male Anna’s hummingbirds are mostly grey and greenish. The head and throat are covered in iridescent red feathers. Without direct sunlight, the head and throat look brownish.
This medium-sized hummingbird is found in chaparral, scrub, oaks and open woodlands as well as urban and suburban settings along the Pacific Coast.
Male Anna’s hummingbirds have an elaborate courtship display. They fly up to 130 feet in the air before plummeting to the ground. On the descent air passing through the birds tail feathers creates a high-pitched noise. If the female is receptive, the male will chase her as she leads him to the nest. Once at the nest the male continues to court the female by swinging back and forth about a foot above the female while singing furiously.
Anna’s hummingbirds normally have a temperature of 107° F. When temperatures fall, the hummingbird will go into a state of torpor where the breathing and heart rate slow and the body temperature drops to as low as 48° F.
Populations of Anna’s hummingbirds are slowly increasing and their range is slowly expanding.
This Anna’s hummingbird was photographed near Tucson AZ.