Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte Anna) | October 2022 (San Mateo County, California)
Anna’s Hummingbirds are among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast. But common is relative. Last October, while I was visiting family in the Bay Area, my brother tipped me off that hummingbirds regularly visit his patio water fountain. So, this New Englander was excited to see several Annas dipping, darting, drinking, and bathing in the early morning light the next day.
I happened upon these Bay Area backyard birds pics while organizing computer files this week, and they got me thinking about what the idea of backyard birds means—to a region, an environment, a person. I’m used to seeing birds in a rural Maine yard with certain trees and plants, but that’s just one view among vast possibilities. Even in urban areas you can attract and support birds. A few native plants and water can be big draws, and much appreciated, in small spaces (like outdoor patios).
Back in the fall when I took these pictures I was focused on seeing these mostly new-to-me birds. But wait…hummingbirds, goldfinches, sparrows, nuthatches, phoebes. In retrospect, the list of birds I saw in this one patio sounds remarkably similar to what I’d see in my backyard at home, thousands of miles away. Just a bit different in names and faces. All common and uncommon. Same and different.