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Anna's Hummingbird: Thriving in Our Shadow

While some birds are negatively affected by humans, others are thriving as our neighbors.
© Becky Matsubara View Large

The Anna’s Hummingbird has undergone a major range expansion since the 1930s. And that’s largely due to humans. One study found that Anna’s Hummingbirds tend to colonize new locations, even cold ones, based on housing density — that is, how many people live there — and the availability of nectar feeders.

Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Anna’s Hummingbird: Thriving in Our Shadow

Written by Monica Gokey

This is BirdNote.

[Anna’s Hummingbird sounds… whizz! Whizz! + a tune]

With its green metallic sheen, the Anna’s Hummingbird is a delight to see, flitting around a back yard or garden, visiting all the colorful, nectar-rich flowers. And maybe stopping by a hummingbird feeder.

[more Anna’s sounds]

For many birds, the rise of suburbia has not been a good thing. Human habitation and roads can fragment — and often degrade — natural habitat.

But a few birds, like the Anna’s Hummingbird, are thriving alongside us.

This little hummingbird was once found only in southern California and the Baja Peninsula. But ornithologists have documented the expansion of its range since the 1930s. Today, you’ll find it in locales as far north as British Columbia and as far east as Texas.

[more Anna’s sounds]

And that’s largely because of us. One study* found that Anna’s Hummingbirds tend to colonize new locations, even cold ones, based on housing density — that is, how many people live there — and the availability of flowery landscaping and nectar feeders.

It’s an uncomfortable truth, isn’t it? Where we humans inadvertently take habitat from some birds, we also give habitat to others… like the Anna’s.

[Anna’s Hummingbird song]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.

###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Wing hum, LNS# 6121, recorded by David G. Allen. Chirping, LNS# 111006, recorded by T. G. Sander.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Michael Stein
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2019 BirdNote   November 2019

ID#  ANHU-04-2019-11-07    ANHU-04


*https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2017.0256

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