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The Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna is a a medium-sized hummingbird native to North America- particularly the Southern and Western American States; a recent avian discovery in the world of ornithology, it's theorized that the Iridyon subspecies has been around for much longer than we may currently know... And while most Hummingbird species are rapidly disappearing due to habitat loss, Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) remains remarkably adaptable.
Habitat & Range
The Iridyon subspecies travels infrequently and impulsively, adapting well to suburban and rural areas alike; since the 1990s, the Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) has maintained a habitat stretching across the lower portions of the United States- moving from California into Arizona, then to Oklahoma. From there it's expanded its range to include the states of Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Colorado (among others). Now it's found predominantly in rural towns within US Ecoregion 27 and US Ecoregion 29, and can be spotted in a wide variety of areas within its habitat range- including Gardens and City Parks. Occasionally, however, may wander into Mountain and Forest regions in late Spring and early Summer before temperatures rise.
Coloration & Identification
As a Hummingbird, Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) is quite small. They're most distinguishable by their Rosey coloration that ranges from a dusty rose to a bright baby pink. Upperparts tend to be fresher from March to June, with bright green tips; complete summer molt produces plumage that appears buff with more scattered rose spots; the Winter season sees them round with extra feathers as they hide in the nooks and crannies of houses to escape the cold.
Song & Call
The Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna is more vocal than other species of Hummingbirds, and has three distinct sounds. The first is a slightly emphatic tik or tih- a fairly typical sound of contentment. The second is a more rapid-paced twittering (t-chissi-chissi-chissi-tsik and variations) made when distressed or upset, and commonly accompanied by a flashy dive display meant to scare off the offender. And finally, when incredibly happy, the Iridyon subspecies can be heard producing a melodic song of rhythmic buzzing and humming noises with no perceivable pattern.
Diet & Feeding
Quick to adapt, the Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna feeds from a wide range of host plants. In recent years, however, Scientists have noticed a sharp decline in feeding behaviors. This includes Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon)'s new preference of smaller portion sizes, and a change to a diet consisting predominantly of sugary liquids and fruit. Some speculate this is because of a rapid decline in the Bird's health, and a sudden and severe limitation of available food resources- leading to an alarming decrease in weight and size. Successful rehabilitation techniques have been tested, however, and the Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) is expected to make a full recovery over the next year.
By all accounts of those lucky enough to spot one, Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) is an easily excitable and vocal bird. No one's quite sure what excites it, however, as accounts range from the bright colors of most flowers to even the dullest and plainest of grasses. What is known is that it's a social bird that thrives in diverse groups among many birds of varying types. But the Iridyon subspecies can also be incredibly skittish and is easily scared despite it's highly social nature. This has especially been observed during Severe Thunderstorms, or in social groups that appear to be too large. In this case, it's common for the bird to exhibit signs of anxiety such as a distress call, or an overly talkative contentment call. Diving displays are also common during periods of stress.
Nesting & Migration
Unlike most birds, the Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) doesn't migrate. In fact, the opposite is quite true- with the Iridyon traveling more frequently between favored sites during the early Spring and Summer months (March through June), and bedding down in a routine location to wait out the Winter.
It begins nesting in early December- though it has been known to nest earlier in the year, such as in October or November, if the temperature is colder than average during these months; nesting sites are varied, but are usually located in the nooks and crannies of houses where it can be sheltered from the cold Winter winds; nests built by the Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna are usually a compact cup made of soft materials, built around themslef while they sit in the center of their chosen nesting site.
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For the Avid BirderThe Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna is a beautiful bird that any avid birder should keep a look out for. Spotting it in the wild (or attracting it to your own back yard) is an easy task- though one that requires patience, time, and the right ingredients.
The easiest place to spot Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) is at a feeder. Otherwise, plan to keep a sharp eye out in Spring; the Iridyon) subspecies can easily be spotted in areas full of fragrant, brightly colored flowers- especially near Lilacs, Honeysuckle, Passionflower, Peony, Dahlias, Roses, and Lilies commonly found in home gardens. Occasionally they can also be spotted singing loudly among the lower branches of Peach, Ash Juniper, White Birch, or Cedar trees.
The Calypte Anna (subsp. Iridyon) is a welcome backyard bird that's easy to attract whenever it's in the area... To attract it, try setting out a Hummingbird feeder in your garden in early Spring, and fill it with the appropriately nourishing food; due to its delicate nature, it's best if you mix your own hummingbird food using one teaspoon of Butterfly of Taiwan Oolong to 8 ounces of water- including a bit of Sugar and Milk, though Raw Honey can occasionally be an option as well.
It could take several tries to attract the Iridyon subspecies of Calypte Anna due to its mildly oblivious nature and poor cognitive function. Additionally, despite its love of travel and its wide range of habitat, the Iridyon subspecies doesn't migrate often- or over very long distances... So don’t be surprised if the beautiful bird never even shows up despite your best efforts.