|Allen's (or Rufous) Hummingbird - photo by my dad|
|Lots of nectar on these Keckiella cordifolia (heartleaf keckiella) blooms|
The intense blue-purple Winifred Gilman Sage kingdom on my right was ruled by a hardly less fierce but more vociferous Anna's, which are much more common here.
|Anna's magenta head - seen only in the right light|
|Three Winifred Gilman sage bushes also provide lots of nectar (and there are a few non-native red sages there too)|
|Anna's hummingbirds are dull until the light catches them right.|
|What a fine little fellow! I do still fill two feeders daily, as my dad kept this up for ten years, and it's a nice remembrance of him.|
The Allen's hummingbird was mostly silent as he sat on his throne, a perch in a bay laurel leaning over the corner of the pool.
|Allen's hummingbird (image from this page)|
They are smaller in appearance than the Anna's, with upturned cheeky little tails they lower and fan out in to an impressive black-and-white flash of disapproval when challenging usurpers of their realm. Which this particular king did frequently. At least once or twice a minute. Many interlopers came to taste the nectar from the tubular blossoms of the Keckiella cordifolia.
Even one or two other Allen's. All were summarily dismissed by a quick chattering swoop, with at the most a brief noisy dual. "You get off my turf!" the Allen's seemed to say. Then swooped back up to sit calmly in his tree.
The two kings (or queens, but I think they were kings) paid no heed to each other, or to the chickadees that passed through, calling to each other Chickadee, Chickadee-dee-dee, or the bushtits gently tittering to each other. They each seemed completely contained in their separate worlds - though I know that is an illusion -- if any one of them had raised an alarm they all would have reacted!
You can learn more about Allen's here, and more about Anna's here.
I don't know who either Allen or Anna were - do you know?