Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Costa's Hummingbird

A Costa’s Hummingbird has to be cautious.  At 3.5” long and 0.1 oz. most everything threatens him.
Nevertheless, he is not shy or retiring.

Proudly projecting brilliant blues and violets, he takes comfort in his ability to escape enemies with lighting speed and aerial acrobatics.

With a resting heartbeat of 900 beats per minute, this mighty, but tiny bird deserves admiration for more than just his good looks.

Perched in plain sight at the end of a twig he knows few predators will mess with him, as pursuing him would be futile and the reward would be negligible. His biggest annoyance seems to be other hummingbirds.

Costa’s Hummingbirds live in desert and semi-desert areas of Arizona and Mexico. Surviving on flower nectar or the sugar water provided by people who enjoy having them around, they are listed as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN* as to their survival. Habitat loss is their most threatening problem as more and more people move into the desert.

People may be their salvation though, if people enjoy them enough to provide nectar and replant the natural desert flowers they depend upon.


Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
*International Union Conservation of Nature