Creature Feature: Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), or Tsakwhonaba’ra in the Wiyot language, is the most common species of hummingbird on the Pacific coast. These tiny birds don’t weigh more than a nickel, yet their flashy feathers and sharp calls make their presence known.

Anna’s hummingbirds are especially noticeable during mating season, when males will fly high then plunge down in a noisy swoop. Male hummingbirds are largely absent fathers, and leave the nest-building and chick-raising to the females. Hummingbird nests are tiny, and usually made of lichen and flower fluff held together with spider webs. Even more delightful are the various names for a flock of hummingbirds: a hover, a glittering, a shimmer, a tune, and a bouquet.