Thomas Anderson

Allens Hummingbird
"Allen's Hummingbird"
Watercolor, 14" x 10"
©2003 Thomas Anderson

When I first saw a Rufous Hummingbird in 1993 in Alaska, I was unaware that there was a coastal California counterpart called Allens’ hummingbird. They are separate species but I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. During all the time I lived in Long Beach, I never saw one. It wasn’t until I moved to my present location in Huntington Beach that they seemed to start showing up at my feeder in the mid-2000s. For all their tininess they are shockingly aggressive little birds. They keep the Anna’s Hummingbirds away from the feeder as much as they can, and now I have predominantly Allen’s Hummingbirds at my feeder. I also planted a species of columbine that grows well without a lot of water. It was not the first time I’d drawn or painted the oddly shaped, brilliantly colored columbine, but this time they were flowers I grew in my own yard and so gave me greater satisfaction.

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