San Francisco Environment Department

Anna's Hummingbird

Speed demon!  

Known as the smallest bird in the world, Anna's Hummingbird wings beat about 40-50 times per second during flight.

They zoom about 25mph in normal flight and up to 40mph in a courtship dive. The male Anna's Hummingbirds’ courtship dive is quite a sight. They hurtle up to 130 feet in the air, plummet earthward, and swoop up in a 'J' formation; then at the bottom of the dive, use their tail feathers to make a loud chirp. 

Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop, though their feet can be used to scoot sideways while they are perched. They do not suck nectar through their long bills, but instead lick it up with fringed, forked tongues. They can consume up to 50% of their weight in nectar each day.

The nest is slightly bigger than a walnut, and the egg contained therein is about the size of a small jellybean.

Learn more about the Anna's Hummingbird in  David Assmann's bird blog:

Springtime Stirrings
The Avian Changing of the Guard
Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches*

photo of Anna's Hummingbird in the wild by David Assmann, photographer

Photo by David Assmann. Do not reproduce pictures without permission.

Related Content

Protect Our Local Pollinators
Pollinator FAQs 
Native Plant Gardens and Nature Walks in SF
To Save Local Bees, San Francisco to Make Pollinator Protection City Policy
Pollinator-Friendly Plants (PDF)
Stories of San Francisco Species (PDF)

Additional Resources

San Francisco Supervisors to pass bill to protect bees, KRON 4, Sept. 12, 2016


photo of Anna's Hummingbird
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