A (mostly) friendly competition between 2 avid birdwatchers that are also friends/co-workers. Who can observe more bird species in Idaho in 2009? Will they still be friends at year's end? ;-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Anna's Hummingbird in Ola!

One of the species I really hoped we'd be able to see this year is Anna's Hummingbird ... I've only seen it once before in Idaho (at a feeder in Mountain Home several years ago) but as more people have carefully watched their hummingbird feeders during late summer/early fall, we've started to see that there's a regular pattern of post-breeding dispersal (wandering?) that seemingly brings a few Anna's to Idaho each year.

Thus, after reports in Moscow and Prairie that I/we weren't able to 'chase' due to time constraints/work, I was excited when I saw Fred and Melly Zeillemaker at last weekend's Western Field Ornithologists conference and Fred said that they'd been hosting an Anna's at their feeders and would keep me posted if it stuck around. After a busy coupla weeks (including a great visit with my mom who was here for a long weekend to see Lucky Peak in action - awesome!), Heidi & I finally had time to take an afternoon trip to Ola yesterday (Monday, Sep 21) after songbird banding/classes.

We arrived @ the Zeillemaker's about 5 minutes after the bird had been in feeding (figures, right?) so commenced to chat/catch up with our hosts over lemonade (several years before I had enjoyed a great visit to their place to see a Fox Sparrow of the Eastern/Red subspecies) while watching/listening for the bugger. Melly had described the song (if you can call it that ;-) that this young male was often singing and within 30 minutes or so, we started to hear the buzzy sounds coming from an ash tree in their front yard.

Heidi, Fred, & Melly looking at the ash tree that the Anna's Hummingbird was frequenting yesterday - nice backyard, huh!?

... and then we were able to spot the little dude as he sang away before coming down to the feeder - an awesome lifer for Heidi and a fun year bird for both of us!

Immature male Anna's Hummingbird - photo by Melly Zeillemaker (taken prior to our visit)

Happy birders enjoying the show

Heidi, her lemonade, and the great view from the Zeillemaker's yard

After enjoying nice views of the bird, Fred took us for a little walk around the beautiful property before we returned to the house for a great dinner (soup, cornbread, and a very tasty zucchini pie for desert) on the deck as we talked about - what else? - bird stories ;-). As we were finishing dinner, the Anna's came in to the nearby feeders for a great naked eye view!

Thanks again to Fred & Melly for their hospitality!



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