2021—A Gem in the Sky

They are tiny gems in the sky. Their iridescent coloring is startling and gorgeous. The Broad-billed Hummingbird is a Mexican Hummingbird but a few migrate north each summer to nest in southern Arizona including Madera Canyon. They consume twice their body weight in nectar daily and in Madera Canyon that means they visit the feeders that offer nourishment often. Despite their diminutive size, they are fearless, guarding their chosen feeders and chasing off others, including the Rivoli’s Hummingbird, a bird almost twice their size. We placed tiny feeders, barely an inch tall and slightly more than an inch in diameter on the hood of our long lenses and almost immediately, each feeder was claimed and guarded. They fed from them even though our heads, eyes pressed against the camera’s viewfinder, was just inches from them. Most amazing to me was that we could feel the breeze from their wingbeats on our faces as they hovered above us drinking the nectar. Occasionally a drop of nectar shaken off their beak would hit us. What an incredibly wonderful experience to have.

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