In a recent blog post I stated that I took the Costa's Hummingbird off of my life-list because I determined that I never actually saw one. Well, yesterday I added it back to my life-list because I finally did see one.
Let's rewind a bit first. About a week ago I bought a birdwatching hat and my first tube feeder:
I've had about the two worst hats for birding: a red baseball cap and a white baseball cap. Those colors are terrible for trying to get close to birds. I've never worn any hat but a baseball cap, but I figured I'd try something new, especiall something with more protection from the sun.
This is also my first bird feeder that holds bird seed. It cost about twenty dollars at Lowes. I had a Hummingbird feeder at my last house and I used to just pour bird seed onto the window pane when I lived at one apartment in LA. Anyway, I'll blog more about bird feeding later. So far I haven't had any birds come visit it. At any rate, since I've had no birds show up yet, I started throwing other types of food around the bird feeder to attract birds.
I threw some peanuts, raisins, bread and french fries in the backyard the day before yesterday, and yesterday I noticed an American Crow grabbing french fries with its beak. The interesting thing is that it wasn't eating or flying off with them; It was burying
the french fries! As you can see from the image below, we have some loose bark scattered around the non-grassy areas of the backyard. This is where the Crow was burying the french fries. He would pick up one and fly to one spot and bury it, then he'd grab another fry and burry it somewhere else. Each time he buried a french fry he'd sit there for a few seconds and "caw" out and try to remember where he buried it to come back for it later, I guess. This was pretty funny and I had no idea Crows even did this dog-like behavior.
While I was watching the Crow bury french fries, with my binoculars from my bedroom, I noticed a Hummingbird. At first I assumed it was yet another Anna's Hummingbird--but then the sunlight hit it a certain way and I noticed a very brilliant purple color on its head area. I instantly thought "Costa's" but then it was gone.
I wanted to take a picture of it, or at least see it more so I could be 100% sure it was a Costa's Hummingbird. I waited a few minutes but didn't see it and assumed it probably wasn't coming back. So I took the Compact Flash memory card out of my digital camera to plug it into my card-reader, so I could upload the crow pictures to my computer. While I was doing that the Hummingbird came back and perched on a tree about twenty feet away from my bedroom window. "Great," I thought, as I yanked the memory card out of the card-reader and quickly placed it back into my camera. I turned the camera on and started taking pictures, through the glass of my bedroom window, before it flew off. I figured that any pictures would be better than no pictures and, sure enough, it flew off after a few seconds.
After reviewing the pictures inside my camera on its LCD display I was able to determine that it was indeed a Costa's Hummingbird. I was so excited that I got a second chance to see the hummingbird, and take pictures, that I quickly pulled the memory card out of the camera to upload them. The problem was I forgot to turn the camera off before I took the card out. This was the first time I've ever done that and the camera started acting weird and tried to shut itself off. Unfortunately, all the images got erased! All I could do was laugh and hope the bird would somehow come back again.
I must have stared at that tree waiting for the Costa's Hummingbird to come back for at least an hour. I started realizing that this is something I'm going to have to get used to though. I know that most birders don't and can't
get pictures of all
the birds they see. Finally I gave up and was going to go to the store but the minute I went to leave, the Hummingbird came back and landed on the tree again! I quickly turned my camera on and started taking pictures again, glad that I had a another
chance. This time I made sure to turn my camera off
before ejecting my memory card. The bird also stuck around long enough to view it with my binoculars and take a really good look at it for a couple minutes.
I ran down stairs to go out to the backyard to try to get a clearer shot of the Costa's Hummingbird and I was only able to take one picture before it flew off--and this time it never returned. The pictures from the bedroom window didn't turn out that well, but they're better than nothing. I love to get pictures of every new type of bird I see. So far, there's only one
bird on my list that I didn't get a picture of (yet): the Greater Roadrunner.
What appears to be black on its chin and neck area is actually the purple color, which you can kind of see in the second image in the compilation, if you look hard enough.
Since I began this blog--about 15 months ago--I have been relying soley on flickr.com
to host my photos. I finally reached the limit on the free account of 200 images. I was about to pay the $25 (per year) fee to flickr to upgrade to a pro account, but I figured for that much I could get my own hosting. So now is probably a good time to ask, please donate anything you can afford if you like my blog, even a dollar helps. Donating will get your name listed on my thank you page
. My PayPal
address and my e-mail address are both: rkulla AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.
I recently noticed that Google is now offering a online image service called Picasaweb
. They offer over one gigabyte
of free storage to start out with, and that will probably increase over time, just like their gmail
service. I was able to upload all
of my bird photos to it, which is actually only about twelve megabytes worth of images so far. So I probably will never have to worry about image hosting again thanks to Google! You can view all of my bird photos at once (many are not included in blog entries) by going to my picasaweb page
That's all for now. Here's a few more pictures I took of the Costa's Hummingbird, a Rainbow and a Lesser Goldfinch: