Anna’s Hummingbird

More stunning shots from Abear, of an Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), having a drink. I’ve never seen a hummingbird drinking before. Most birds need gravity assist to drink, and I assume that’s the case here. Abear, let me know if  I’m wrong. Click for full size.




  1. AlexanderZ says

    This is absolutely amazing!!
    I didn’t even hummingbirds drink at all -- I thought they were getting all of their water from nectar (or from kind people’s feeders).

  2. says

    Kengi, thank you! That’s very interesting. Mourning Doves are one of the only birds which can actually swallow, so they look very different from the other birds when getting a drink.

  3. abear says

    This one is taking a bath . It’s wetting the front of the body in the shallow film of water in the second shot. I believe they only bathe in very shallow water.
    These are hardy little birds that are year round residents here (SW Canada) and overwinter although it can get as cold as -10 C or 14 F. They survive mainly by gleaning for dormant insects in tree bark and needles and when flowers are unavailable they benefit from the sap wells made by Red Breasted Sapsuckers and feeders that some people here now maintain year round.
    They begin nesting in late winter.

  4. Tethys says

    Oh my, what an amazing capture. I have watched a ruby throat bathe in the morning dew on an oak leaf , and take a sip of water from a lake while flying, but I have never seen one do anything like this.

    I can’t wait for the summer birds to return. Robins and Great Blue Herons are here, but it will be several more weeks before hummingbirds and all the warblers move through on their way north.

  5. abear says

    Tethys: It is possible that the hummer you saw was gleaning small insects such as chironomids that were emerging from their larval stage in the lake rather than drinking. Either way a cool experience.

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