Rufous Hummingbird, Los Alamos, New Mexico
The Rufous Hummingbird visits Los Alamos for about a month but definitely makes his presense known. They usually find a hummingbird feeder and chase away any other hummingbirds that approach. He can get away with this because his wings beat much faster than the other hummingbirds in the area. The Rufous has a wingbeat of 60 beats/second versus 30 beats/second for the other hummers. This along with his attitude lets him be the bully on block. Here he is in full display (Click). This picture caught the attention of Travis Bruce Black a painter in Santa Fe. When the PEEC Nature Center was built in 2015, a painting by Travis was commisioned for the observation area. I got to work with Travis find him photos of critters that symbolized the Pajarito Plateau where Los Alamos, NM sits. This rufous photo beat out the all others since almost all people who live here have seen rufous hummingbirds chasing away others from their feeders! Here is how the final art piece turned out that Los Alamos County paid $20K to commission (Click)! Here is a shot showing the hummingbirds have tiny tongues which they use to slurp up the nectar (Click). Their beak is not a straw! He also feeds at the many flowers in bloom in late summer: (Click) .
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