Anna’s Hummingbird

First year male Anna's Hummingbird

I was heading into an October weekend to celebrate my birthday with rain in the forecast and a huge desire to get in a birding trip when Kurt & Sharon Meisenzahl posted a message on the OKBirds listserv announcing the arrival of a male Anna’s Hummingbird at their backyard feeders in Lawton, OK.

I had no definite plans for my birthday trip anyway — go to the Salt Plains and try for Sandhill Crane photos, or Hackberry Flats for ducks? — so I did what I often do: slept on it.  I told myself that if the Anna’s was still at the Meisenzahl’s on Saturday morning, I’d go to Lawton instead. Sure enough, the bird was there, along with a very rainy day.

I drove the 90 miles to Lawton though a lot of heavy rain asking myself how crazy it was to expect to see a very rare Oklahoma sighting of a Anna’s in a rainstorm.  Fortunately, the rain let up a little when I arrived although the sky was certainly dreary. And, sure enough the little bird perched in a tree within minutes of my arrival!  He was cooperative and not at all skittish. My challenge was to try to get photos with low light, light rain and no sunshine to highlight the color.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are native to the western United States. I don’t know what brought this first-year male to the center of the country but it gave me a chance to add a new bird to my photo gallery and enjoy a wonderful rare Oklahoma sighting on my birthday.

This photo was taken from the second floor deck overlooking Kurt & Sharon’s backyard.  The flash of color was a godsend since the sky was still overcast and the angle from the deck gave me an opportunity to photograph the bird with leaves, instead of dull sky, as the background.

The bird looks like he is molting into adult plumage so the combination of molting feathers and rain give him a ragged look.  But I’ll take it!!

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