Photo: On April 26th, this Calliope was the first hummingbird at our feeder. He stayed for three days, then suddenly vanished one night, presumably continuing his long migratory path.
Calliope are fascinating hummingbirds. Despite being North America’s smallest bird, it is surprising that their natural history remains relatively understudied.
Their name was inspired by the Greek Goddess Calliope (Kalliopē) meaning “beautiful-voiced.” According to mythology, Calliope defeated her enemies in a singing match and turned them into magpies. It would have been fitting if her enemies were instead turned into hummingbirds. Since the Greeks were unaware of hummingbirds (New World birds), this wasn’t a possibility.
Perched at last! I’ve been patiently standing here in the rain for the past thirty minutes waiting to take a picture. Thank goodness because my arms, back, and legs are killing me.