January 24, 2020
| Anna’s Hummingbird by Jessica McConahay |
The fifth category for this season’s BirdSpotter contest was all about photographing birds on the wing. We received so many wonderful entries! Congratulations to our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner, Jessica McConahay of Portland, Oregon, for impressing the judges with this fantastic shot of a male Anna’s Hummingbird! With his foot outstretched and tongue sticking out, this little bird has a lot of character. Jessica described him further:
I have watched this Anna’s Hummingbird grow up from scruffy juvenile to filling in his gorget sequin-by-sequin. During the late fall, he seemed to rule the yard–watching from a high branch and chasing off anyone he didn’t approve of.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are a common feeder visitor of western North America. The males use their brilliant magenta gorget (brightly colored feathers in the throat area) along with a daring courtship display to attract their mates. A male will fly as high as 130 feet in the air, and then plummet toward the ground, letting loose a unique, high-pitched noise that’s made by air whipping through his tail feathers. Attract one to your yard by providing a sugar solution that’s 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Anna’s Hummingbirds don’t migrate very far, so don’t be surprised if you see them at your feeders all months of the year!
Submissions are still open for the sixth BirdSpotter category Splash of Sunshine! Submit your photo of a bird sporting yellow plumage by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, January 30, for a chance to win. Don’t we all need a little bit of sunshine in these dark days of winter? Winners will be announced on Friday, February 7. Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited and are entered into the final Grand Prize contest. Anyone can participate in the BirdSpotter contest by entering a photo and voting for their favorites! Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.