2birdfeature #5

In this second to last installment of the 2birdfeature posts, we return to Protection Island to have a look at a couple of birds I saw on a daily basis while living as a castaway. The first one is one of my favourite hummingbirds. It's one that I grew up watching in Colorado. This guy (or gal, in this case) is very aggressive and does not play well with others. If you have hummingbird feeders, this is the guy that chases all the other hummers away. The Rufous Hummingbird.

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The male Rufous is much more recognizable as he is bronze all over with almost no green at all. And contrary to popular belief, hummingbirds like these don't only eat nectar. They eat tiny flies and spiders as well. Arguably the most impressive thing about hummingbirds is not their heart rate, not their rate of wing beats, but their migration path. Rufous Hummingbirds fly all the way to Mexico to winter and to get there, they take one of two paths around the Great Basin Desert. This migration, like that of many other hummers, is a pretty rugged undertaking.

The second bird for today will be the Harlequin Duck.

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To see this bird out of water, especially the male, is to witness a live painting. In a way, this duck's markings remind me of the detail and care in the plumage of the Wood Duck. These ducks are found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and are a common oceanic water bird.

Join me this weekend for a look at the Dawley Refuge in Sequim Bay, WA. There will be banana slugs the size of your face!