For the past two winters, Leafhopper Farm has put out a feeder for our resident humming bird. The Anna’s humming bird (Calypte anna) is our year round resident. Other humming birds come over for the summer, and at that time, I pull the feeder, but in winter, after the tourists go home, our little Anna’s is out and about, through freezing cold temperatures, he’s out looking for something to eat, and considering there are no flowers available at this time, I make sure the yellow feeder is there for him. Since putting out the feeder, winter humming bird activity has risen, and seeing these amazing birds in January is quite a treat. The bussing sounds coming from the north fence line hedge behind the house leads me to believe the bird is nesting the the holly bushes nearby. I’ve seen males and females around the feeder, and as we pruned back the apple trees, we discovered a nest that looked very much like that of a humming bird, which is a great sign of their viability on this land.
When nectar is scarce, these little birds hunt small insects, gleaning them off branches or catching them midair using clever arial tactics and movement unparalleled in the avian world. The farm happily encourages these native insect eaters to stick around. The hummingbirds also pollinate in the warmer months, making them a priceless presence on Leafhopper Farm.