Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 27, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 27, 2013 



 A few days ago, while I was out walking around town 
with “Brown”, one of my favorite canine clients and the 
sweetest chocolate lab you could ever hope to meet, 
I suddenly heard what I thought was a bumble bee 
buzzing near the back of my head. Mind you, I am not 
afraid of bees, but it was quite loud and close, startling me enough to turn around and look at what 
was making that buzzing sound. When I turned, I found myself eye-to-eye with a tiny hummingbird 
floating in the air right where a ray of sun was shining between the shade of the trees. Its brilliant 
iridescent wings were winding and working hard to keep it hanging there in the air at eye-level for 
what seemed to me like more than a minute, then it dove and flew away as quickly as it had come. 

 I enjoy seeing hummingbirds in our area all the time, but for some reason that close encounter with 
such an amazing little creature levitating in the air just a couple of feet from my face, left me feeling 
blessed by nature, as if it was a meeting meant to be. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Imagine being 
able to fly and flit about high in the air and up into the treetops, like that tiny bird?” God’s creations 
never cease to amaze me and hummingbirds have got to be one of the most remarkable creatures on 

 The hummingbird’s brain is larger in comparison to body size than any other bird species. Indeed, 
they are extremely smart and have a terrific memory, allowing them to keep tabs on the whereabouts 
of their favorite feeders and flowers, both far and near. They even remember when each type of their 
preferred flowers will have refilled and be ready for them to revisit. Amazing, yes, and good for them, 
but hummers are not strictly self-serving birds. They play a very important and harmonious role in 
nature‘s big picture, making them excellent team players along with all the other creatures with whom 
they cohabitate, including us humans. Hummingbirds are prolific pollinators, working fervently for 
hours moving pollen from one location to another, as long as they have access to a sufficient amount 
of nectar to replenish their little systems. 

 The three most common hummingbirds found in California are Anna’s (Calypte anna), Black-
chinned (Archilochus alexandri), and Allen’s (Selasphorus sasin), with the largest population being 
that of Anna’s. As if playing a major role in nature wasn’t enough to make the heavenly, harmonious 
hummer a valuable asset to earth, it also adds bountiful beauty and uniquely subtle music to the 
backdrop of our daily lives. The adult male Anna’s hummingbird boasts the most gorgeous plume of 
feathers, with a combination of colors that is sure to make other aviary animals in our area envious. 
Their iridescent glow of metallic green, rose-red and silvery-grey come to life in the sunlight, bringing 
a sense of awe to the on-looker. During mating season, the male Anna’s hummer begins his rowdy 
routine of fluffing his feathers and flitting his wings in a dance designed to catch the attention of their 
female counterparts. I have seen this puffed-up plumage dance performed in my yard numerous 
times, and I always find myself completely captivated by the entire ordeal. Not to mention that it 
seems to be working well for them, because there are plenty of hummers in my yard all year round!

 Interestingly enough, hummingbirds are not at all social, the way most bird are. They do not 
migrate together nor do they maintain familial relationships. In fact, the only times you might see 
hummers get together are during mating season and on occasions when they are forced to share a 
common feeder for a quick snack before buzzing off to yet another isolated destination. Hummers 
are very independent little beings, and yet they each seem to be very focused on what they plan to 
do next. Something about that particular characteristic of this amazing species really appeals to me. 
Maybe it’s because I am a bit of a loner myself. Except for the time I love spending with my four-
legged friends, I stay pretty busy taking care of what I know needs to be done and I tend to accomplish 
more when I work on my own. Perhaps the hummer and I have a little something in common with 
this regard, but I still wish I could fly and flit about quickly in the sky like they can. Meanwhile, I’ll 
appreciate their intelligence and beauty, the subtle song they sing, and the comfort they bring by their 
presence, reminding me every day, that nature is still taking its course in a healthy way.

CARAMEL #A4563232

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Dogs this sweet are hard to find. Meet Caramel 
(A4563232). Caramel is a genuinely affable two 
year old brown neutered male Short Haired 
Chihuahua who was found in La Puente and 
brought to the Baldwin Park Shelter on April 11th. 
Weighing eight pounds, little Caramel walks well 
on the leash and loves to be held. He is good with 
other dogs and we think he would be fine with 
calm, older children. Initially shy, he takes a little 
time to warm up but it is well worth it. Caramel is 
the perfect indoor pet for a calm household in any 
living situation and is ideal for a senior or retiree. 
To watch a video of Caramel please visit: http://

To meet Caramel in person, please see him at the 
Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, 
Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 
or 626-962-3577). He is currently available now. 
For any inquiries about Caramel, please reference 
his animal ID number: A4563232. The shelter is 
open seven days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a 
high-intake shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more information about Caramel or the 
adoption process, contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership with the 
Baldwin Park Shelter through its Shelter Support Program, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, 
ages, and sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit

Saturday May 4th & 
Sunday May 5th 
10:00AM to 4:00PM 
At Sierra Madre Art Fair in Memorial Park 
Presented By: 
Creative Arts Group a nonprofit art center 
108 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre