Hummingbird nest at Mirant’s Pittsburg Generating Plant. Photo by Jon Ridler, Pittsburg, CA.
PG&E may have falcons, but Mirant’s Pittsburg Generating Plant has hummingbirds! These two babies are being raised in a nest on a bearing cooling water return line for a 6 unit condensate booster pump. The water line is warmer (but not too warm) so it’s an ideal nesting location. Mirant employees have marked off the area and are keeping an eye on their young visitors which are approximately 10 days old. These photos were taken March 21 by Jon Ridler, 24-year employee at the plant and member of Worth A Dam. Heidi Perryman, Worth A Dam, Martinez, CA
Hummingbird nest on bearing cooling water return line. Photo by Jon Ridler, Pittsburg, CA
Thanks for sharing these GREAT photos. Hummingbirds don’t mess around. If you need to keep your babies warm, why mess around building your nest in a Pittsburg backyard? Build it at a Pittsburg Power Plant instead! Hummers — you gotta love ‘em! /Gary
Hummingbird nest by Ben Phipps, Benicia, California
Hi Gary, enjoy your column very much.
I’ve been feeding my “Hummers” in the backyard for most of the 25 years that I’ve lived here in Benicia. Always thought that they must have had many nests over the years but never had a clue where to look until just last week.
I saw a Hummingbird fly into and disappear in our Jacaranda tree. After much looking, I found the Hummingbird sitting on, and protecting as I found out, a beautiful, tiny nest. Read the rest of this entry »
Two years ago I became permanently disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis caused fatigue. Since then I have become the home cook and I get to spend time in my backyard making friends and photographing them. Most people look at a backyard and see grass and trees, I see all the moving things in them. John Campolo, Pleasanton
And such wonderful, moving things they are! Turn the page, dear readers, and enjoy a yardfull of John’s beautiful moving things … /Gary Read the rest of this entry »
Leucistic hummingbird. Photo by Don McConnell, Oakland, CA Gary:
A cream-colored hummingbird with a rusty back has been visiting my feeder, fighting with the Anna’s hummers that usually dominate it. It doesn’t resemble any of the hummers in the Sibley guide. This was my first effort at setting up a tripod and focusing on a feeder – I didn’t realize that meant I’d have to stand there and pray the bird showed up. But it did eventually, at twilight, which is why the shots are dark. I also sent photos of an Anna’s male, earlier in the day, showing the tiny iridescent plates on its head.
But what the heck is my cream-and-rust hummer? I live in the Oakland hills west of 580, by the way. Don McConnell, Oakland Read the rest of this entry »
Hummingbird moth in Greve, Italy, about 25 miles south of Florence. Photo by Don Morgan, Concord, CA
This past June my family took a trip to Italy (Chianti region). Our last day there, I spotted what first looked like a very large bug in a patch of lavender. It was moving between the flowers. It had a long bill which then made me think it was a hummingbird. But when I looked at its body, it almost looked like the body of an insect. Based on the bill and the hovering between flowers I’m sticking with my hummingbird theory. Don, Concord
Not a hummingbird. It’s a “hummingbird” moth. Note the two antennae, which birds don’t have. The “bill” is actually a long proboscis that curls up when not in use and uncurls when it probes into a flower for nectar. We have a similar San Francisco Bay Area species called a sphinx moth. They hover in front of flowers like hummingbirds as they feed on the nectar.
Hummingbird vs. red-tail hawk (Bryan McClure/Concord, CA)
These interesting photos by Bryan McClure of Concord, California, show a curious Anna’s hummingbird zooming in to have a closer look at an immature red-tailed hawk sitting on a power pole that’s probably right smack in the middle of the hummingbird’s territory.
When it comes to defending its turf, hummingbirds don’t give a hoot about size. Fortunately for the hawk,it doesn’t compete with the hummer for flower nectar … otherwise the tiny but VERY AGGRESSIVE hummingbird would have quickly sent it on its way. Read the rest of this entry »
Hummingbird bathing in fountain by Gayle Hasley, Concord, Calif.
It’s a beautiful day in paradise — my tiny 12’ x 20’ garden on the second highest density street in Concord.
It is filled this morning with titmice, doves, goldfinches, chickadees, hummingbirds and a huge Cooper’s hawk floating overhead, searching for things for their nest just 5 big trees away. All of the birds love the fountain in the garden and they come to drink and bath … but it is the hummers who take visible joy in it. Read the rest of this entry »