They’re Still Here!

This gallery contains 4 photos. I shouldn’t be surprised, given our dry spring and summer (Metro Vancouver has been into a Stage 3 advisory — no lawn sprinkling, no car washes, etc. — for the past two months), that the Rufous hummingbirds have overstayed their welcome (which is just fine with me!) on the Wet Coast, er, the Dry Roast. All shots were taken from the second floor sunroom on August 26.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: One Good Daya closeup of the attackee on one of the pear trees.
f/6.3, 1/800, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 400, flash on

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: One Good Dayattacker and attackee: the original confrontation.
f/6.3, 1/800, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 400, flash on

From what I’ve read, Rufouses normally disappear when August rolls around. From my initial records, our first red-bodied visitors started their epic migration trek southwards on August 15 last year. This year, reports on show that they are still lingering on the Pacific Northwest as of August 23.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: One Good Dayhide and peek: a Rufous on the Scarlet Trumpetvine — on the lookout for the other one.
f/6.3, 1/800, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 400, flash on

What really surprised me was to see TWO of them wreaking havoc in the backyard on August 26 … chasing each other around, all day long! (which incensed the resident young male Anna’s hummingbird to no end … he had both intruders to constantly kick out).

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: One Good Dayhere’s a Rufous who knows how to colour co-ordinate its feathers *and* flowers (Anise Hyssop)!
f/6.3, 1/1000, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 400, flash on

I think they may be recently fledged siblings, even twin brothers (Rufous hummingbirds will have their chicks here). It would certainly explain the chasing sessions, which seem to have more of a “fun” aspect to them, rather than being actual territorial displays. They must be young … to have that much energy to burn! See more examples of the Weekly WordPress Challenge: Today Was a Good Day.



66 thoughts on “They’re Still Here!

    • thank you, Noelle! that may indeed be a possibility. in a similar vein, I’ve heard that many (moulting, and ergo, unable to fly) shorebirds are in dire straits because of the summer drought.


  1. Lovely! We mainly get Ruby-throated (though Rufous supposedly passes through Indiana).

    I hope Vancouver (at least the mountains and north of there) will get a huge dumping of snow this winter. Vancouver isn’t Vancouver without a ton of wonderful mountain water. And I know Whistler was hurting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you’ve got the best camera equipment to capture these birds! I know how hard it is to shoot these little guys with my own 300 mm lens.. With all that talk about a hard winter, I am surprised about the birds. Our hummingbirds are still very much here (Virginia), even though it’s end of August and they should be rallying for their migration. Also, I just discovered a sparrow nest with just-hatched eggs. I was told at the last Bird Club meeting that birds rarely lay eggs after July. Mysteries abound…

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you, Beauty! I got lucky on August 26 … the Rufouses were giving me many opportunities to capture their shenanigans. 🙂

      the last time I saw them was the day after that. I think they may have been refueling as much as possible for their big migration southwards. still, that puts them in Vancouver for almost 2 weeks longer than last year.

      it was probably a good thing they left a few days ago, with the gale force winds (80-100+ km/hr) and rain (finally!) that Metro Vancouver got yesterday. their journey would have been even harder.

      the Anna’s, of course, will be here all year long. with the (relatively) mild winter we got last year, they were having babies even through December!

      so that being said, I am not surprised to hear that you discovered eggs! this has been shaping up to be a very strange year, weather wise! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anna’s are the only all-year-round hummingbirds we have in Metro Vancouver … but our climate, although mild, isn’t southern California where we have warm weather and flowers all year long! 🙂

        we did have hummingbird mint flowering until mid-November last year, and after that, the Anna’s depend almost completely on nectar feeders as fuel to be able to hunt for insects.

        they can survive our winters (we had a few days last November where the temps dropped to -10 C and -15 C — which is rare) because they’re able to drop to a state of torpor deeper than any other hummingbird.

        Liked by 1 person

    • thank you, Takami! our last sighting of Rufouses was actually on August 27. thank goodness they left soon after, because we’ve had gale force winds (80-100 km/hr) and considerable rainfall for the past three days. their journey southward would have been that much harder!

      but! the Anna’s are still here. will do an update blog on them shortly! 🙂



  3. Interesting to see your hummers on the west coast. We have the ruby-throated ones here on the east coast. I have a few pics but mainly of the female as she comes around the most and comes very close sometimes. The honeysuckle is mostly gone unfortunately. I saw one today but according to my research the male leaves in August and the female in September. I will be sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • if you plant anise hyssop (hummingbird mint), these will last and flower until the first frost. for us in Vancouver, this was mid-November last year.

      Ruby Throats are exceedingly rare on the West Coast. only a handful have been sighted here, and they were reported in the Rockies, I believe.

      you are correct — the male hummers are the first to leave. that seems to be the case for many bird species. fortunately for us, we have the Anna’s all year long! 🙂


      • i didn’t know there were hummingbirds year round in Canada. I lived in Vancouver for a year but guess I wasn’t paying attention. Good to know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only encountered hummingbirds myself within the past two years. 🙂

        I think it’s only the Anna’s which can survive the West Coast winters because the latter tend to be milder, and these hummingbirds are able to enter a state of torpor deeper than any other hummingbird.

        last winter, we had temps as low as -10 to -15 C, so the feeders had to be taken in at night and placed out very early in the morning! 🙂


    • many thanks, Gilles.

      I am very honored to be in your top 15. however, please note that I must decline the honour for reasons of time … your visits and comments to my blog are award enough! 🙂



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