The Brightly-Colored Costa’s Hummingbird

I am blessed to live in the Southwest part of the country that is visited by hummingbirds year round.

However, there are some species that reside here for only part of the year.  Every fall, I look forward to the arrival of Costa’s Hummingbirds (Calypte costae). 

Last week, my sister was visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and spotted a Costa’s feeding from the fuzzy flowers of Mexican Bush Sage…

She was able to take this picture when the sun was reflecting off of his gorget (feathers on the throat), making it appear more blue then violet.

One of my favorite things about the male Costa’s hummingbirds is that the brightly colored feathers on their throats flare out on the sides.

I see Anna’s and Black-Chinned hummingbirds fairly regularly at my feeder, but seldom a Costa’s – although I do see them visiting other people’s gardens.

Even though I may not have Costa’s visiting my garden – there is a special little Costa’s hummingbird that spends fall through spring in my sister’s garden.  Every year, he leaves for the summer – but when fall arrives, he is back on his favorite perch in their almond tree.

I am thrilled to report that he showed up again last week!

Next Tuesday, I’ll share photos of our favorite Costa’s, who we have named ‘Jose’ because he spends his summers in Mexico.

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