Anna’s Dive: The sound of Spring

The  trill of the Swainson’s Thrush

The Song of the  Goldfinch

Some of my favorites for sure, but the  best for me,   is best described as the squeak of a frightened mouse on  a cartoon..  for the longest time  I could not figure out what made the sounds,  once I did I was astonished!    The Anna’s hummingbird mating  dive…  and the sound isn’t  from his mouth!  Quite the Opposite!  OK not  truly the opposite, but close enough! It’s from the tail feathers as they flare out at the end of it’s high speed dive bomb run.

I don’t know how accurate this is, but in my observations, they  do this  dive bomb for both attracting females as well as to  notify other males that this is their territory.  The  runs  differ slightly  and I’m sure the pitch or the tone of the squeal are different to a hummer, but  to me it’s too close to call.

When  the male sees a  female   in it’s territory,  it will wait for her to be stationary , either on a branch or a feeder,  he will then zoom up, at ludicrous speed,  high up in the air,  then squeak and squawk their  intentions from on high, then  into a blurring dive at over  45 miles  per hour (that is fast for a teensy tiny  bird!)  they come within inches of the other bird and pull up  out of the dive at an insane angle,  at the same time they flare out their tails and make the sound of a  rodent in the grips of an owl.   They will repeat this until the female  leaves or , in the case of another male, they usually follow it up with an attack if the warning was not heeded!

So my favorite sound of Spring? It’s the  dive of the Anna’s Hummingbird!

Here’s an attempt at a video, this  act is nearly impossible to catch with a point and shoot…

There’s a female on the feeder at the start, the male does a dive and shoots up  in the air,  calling and talking,  then dives some more,  at the end the female doesn’t move, so I assume she approves,  the male sits in the tree gloating and  then…..she met another and ppphhffffth she was gone…

Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love  –

One thought on “Anna’s Dive: The sound of Spring

  1. I have never seen this before, fascinating!!!! I think she was fickle, don’t you??? Just watched him flirt then poof she was gone!

be so kind as to tell me what you think... good or "constructive" is appreciated... and if you have suggestions for topics.