If you’re not quick, you might miss this speedy little bird as it whizzes past defending its territory from an intruder. These birds are small, fast, and territorial, but you can’t help be in awe when you see them shimmering in the sunlight.
January’s bird of the month is the tiny Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)!!!!
Allen’s hummingbirds (3.75″ long; 4.25″ wing span; 0.11 oz.) are very common at Bolsa Chica, especially up on the upland bluffs or Mesas. A year-round endemic bird to Southern California (only found here year-round), they are often confused for the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). With orange, green, and white feathers, and of course the males with their brilliant red gorgets, or throats, the are remarkably showy birds. The male has a spectacular courtship dive display. He flies up to 80 feet high and dramatically dives towards the ground, and then up to form a J- shape, while his wings produce a buzzing whistle sound. If you would like to attract Allen’s hummingbirds to your yard, plant native flowers like bladderpod, salvia species (may we suggest hummingbird sage), and you can even add a feeder if maintained weekly.
Learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Explained
New to birding? Check out this beginner’s guide to birding!
Photo: Jay Spring