Hummingbirds Migrating in Southern California

Clearly, hummingbird migration has begun here in Southern California. We went to Sea Terrace Community Park this past weekend to look for a reported Calliope Hummingbird. I have never been to this small park right along Pacific Coast Highway and it was very interesting. As its name implies it is a small community park that is along the Coast Highway between Dana Point and Laguna Beach.

Rufous HummingbirdThe majority of the park is just an open grassy area with small islands of well-manicured vegetation. Although not overly busy there were a few people flying remote gliders or planes and walking the paths. It seemed were the only one looking at the hummingbirds. The park is virtually on Pacific Coast Highway and just a stone throw from the beach.

The number of hummingbirds was quite a surprise. Flowering Pride of Madera was prevalent in most of the vegetated areas and the hummingbirds were abundant feeding on the blossoms. Although we see a fair number of Allen’s Hummingbirds along the coast it was particularly interesting to see such a good mix of Rufous Hummingbirds here also.

Calliope HummingbirdSix species of Hummingbirds can be found here in Orange County (Anna’s, Costa’s, Rufous, Black-chinned, Allen’s and rarely Calliope). Although Calliope Hummingbird is mostly found in the Santa Ana Mountains, this year it showed up along the costal lowlands in both Sea Terrace Community Park and Huntington Central Park. It was a real treat to see this hummingbird and especially unusual right on our coastline. The abundant Anna’s, Allen’s and Rufous Hummingbirds were also a treat that made for a quick morning of four of the six species of Hummingbirds found in the county. Note: for those of you who might call me on this count… yes, there are rare scattered records of Broad-billed Hummingbirds.

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