Tag Archives: Hummingbird Habitat

Hunting Hummingbirds


In May, a friend of mine posted several wonderful photos of hummingbirds (I don’t know if you’ll be able to see it if you’re not his friend) on Facebook that he had taken at the Hummingbird Habitat in Desert Breeze Park. I’ve been dying to go out there and try to capture some with my camera. I had gone a couple of years ago with no luck.

I often see hummers flitting around the backyard when I take Ralph out first thing in the morning. But I never have my good camera handy at that time.

Thursday was my first chance to go to the park. I tried to get out there early, but it was already 9:30 and 90 degrees when I left the house. Hummingbirds prefer to do their foraging early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it isn’t so hot.

I forgot that there’s a waterfall and a pool of water lilies at the Hummingbird Habitat.


Did you notice the two dragonflies near the lower left corner above? That’s the first time I’ve ever been able to photograph them. They’re fast.

water lilies

There are all sorts of interesting plants in the garden.

red yucca
Red yucca
century plant
Century plant. This flower spike is about 30 feet tall.

There’s a tall tree sculpture in the center of the garden.

Tree sculpture

And, of course, lots of real trees. In one spot, they formed a canopy above the path. That shaded area was about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the garden.

Shady path

I wandered through the habitat looking for hummingbirds. I saw some other birds.

unidentified bird
I don’t know what kind of bird this is. I’d like to say mockingbird, except it was only singing one song. Usually mockingbirds run through a whole repertoire.
pigeon or mourning dove
I’m not sure whether this is a pigeon or a mourning dove.
Gecko sunning
I believe that’s a gecko on the top of this rock.

I finally did see one hummingbird, though I didn’t even get a good enough look at him to be able to tell what type. It was so hard to get a picture of him. He kept flitting about within a tree, and I couldn’t focus on him. My camera insisted on focusing on the leaves and blurring him out. I managed to get a few half-decent shots . . .


. . . but when I finally got my zoom lens focused in, he was done for the day. I never saw him again, even though I hung around and searched for another half hour.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

Hummingbird Habitat


Over the past few months I’ve noticed that some of my friends have posted beautiful photos of the Hummingbird Habitat in Desert Breeze Park just a few miles south of my house. And the last time I ventured out of my house for a photo shoot was May.

So on Wednesday, I bravely drove to the park.

I love parks. Desert Breeze has a lot of nice features. There’s a lake for urban fishing. There’s a little train. (One evening around Christmas many years ago we took the kids for a train ride around the holiday-lit park and then drank hot cocoa.) There’s a playground with a splash pad where kids were cooling off from the heat. (This is Arizona, where it’s still summer, with 100 degrees + temperatures.)

The park is four acres, and I didn’t know exactly where the hummingbird garden is. The first parking lot I pulled into was next to the lake. I didn’t see anything that could be a hummingbird garden.

The next lot I visited was next to the train station. I could see tennis courts and the playground. I parked the car and looked for a directory to show me the way to the hummingbird habitat. I found none, so I started walking. How far could it be?

Besides the kids in the playground, I saw groundskeepers striding around and people jogging, but instead of flagging them down, I kept my social distance. With no idea where to go, I took out my phone and looked for a map of the park. Why didn’t I do that when I first got to the park? Well, I tried, and I asked Siri for help, but I’m new to smart phones and I don’t know what I’m doing. I managed to find a map, and tried to enlarge it. An annoying little dialog box kept popping up saying “Chandler Parks wants to know your location” and I clicked “Don’t Allow” several times while trying to get my bearings. Finally, I clicked “Allow,” and a dot appeared on the map. As I took a couple of steps trying to determine where I was on the map, the dot moved. The dot was me! Who knew?

Then it was a snap to walk to the Hummingbird Habitat. Too bad I’d walked in all the wrong directions. I would never have found it without GPS. But my efforts were so worth it.

There’s an archway with a giant hummingbird at the entrance to the habitat. And just inside is a pond complete with waterlilies and a little waterfall.

A giant tree sculpture with a circular bench offers a place to sit.

There are lots of live trees, too.

And other plants.

Hummingbirds love trumpet-shaped flowers. Due to the heat, there weren’t very many of these left.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single hummingbird. It was already nearly noon (this is Arizona, where it’s still summer, with 100 degrees + temperatures), so I suspect the birds were resting wherever they could find shade. Next time I’ll go earlier. Or later.

On the way home, I drove around the neighborhood until I found the way to the parking lot that is only steps from the Hummingbird Habitat.