The Chronicles Of Grant County:
Hummingbirds And Mockingbirds

October 8, 2019

Hummingbird - Produced by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay.jpg

A hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower.  (Image was provided courtesy of GeorgeB2 through Pixabay.)


Three local streets in Grant County were named after two birds, the hummingbird and the mockingbird.  Other area roadways are named after other birds.

Hummingbird Lane is a small street located off of Silver Heights Boulevard in Silver City, while a second roadway with the same name is located off of Route 35 in Mimbres.

“Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere,” according to the United States National Park Service.  “Most of the more than 300 species of hummers live in Central and South America. About 26 species visit the United States during part of the year and 17 breed here.”

The National Park Service also reported that “Hummingbirds that breed in North America overwinter in Mexico, though migration corridors [throughout the United States] vary by species.”

The Hummingbird Festival was held this past August at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Center.  You can read a previous news article about this annual event by clicking here.


Hummingbird - Produced by Sally King of the National Park Service.jpg

“This male broad-tailed hummingbird shows off his bright gorget feathers [brilliant throat feathers]”,
according to the United States National Park Service.  (The image was produced by
Ms. Sally King and was provided courtesy of the National Park Service.)

Hummingbirds are voracious eaters.  “To sustain their supercharged metabolisms, hummingbirds must eat once every 10 to 15 minutes and visit between 1,000 and 2,000 flowers per day,” according to the National Audubon Society. “Hummingbirds are specialized aerial hunters, and can snatch small insects from the air. Hummingbirds also glean insects from leaves and from spider webs.

In addition, the National Audubon Society reported that hummingbirds like to be clean:  “Hummingbirds like to bathe frequently – even in the pools of droplets that collect on leaves.”


Hummingbird - Produced by Bill Thompson for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service - Quabbin Reservoir near South Athol, Massachusetts.jpg

A hummingbird as seen at the Quabbin Reservoir near South Athol, Massachusetts, in 2012.
(Image was produced by Mr. Bill Thompson and was provided courtesy of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.)

Mockingbird - Image by Rick (dirtdiver38) from Pixabay.jpg

The northern mockingbird is seen here perched on a tree branch in Florida.
(Image was provided courtesy of Rick [dirtdiver38] through Pixabay.)


 Mockingbird Lane is located in Mimbres;  this road intersects with Hummingbird Lane.

The mockingbird is a very popular bird with a number of state governments.  This specific bird is the state bird symbol for Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.  It should be noted that the mockingbird formerly was the state bird symbol for another state – South Carolina – but that state rescinded that designation for the mockingbird;  the Carolina wren is now the state bird symbol of South Carolina.

“The mockingbird is well known for mimicking many sounds,” according to the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  “They can sing up to about 200 songs and can make sounds like insects and amphibians. They can also imitate sounds like a barking dog, farm animals and a squeaky hinge. Sometimes they sing all night.”

You can hear sounds of a northern mockingbird by clicking here for a link provided courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology of Cornell University.

Mockingbird - Image by N Lewis of the National Park Service at Shenandoah National Park.jpg

 In 2018, this northern mockingbird was seen at the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
(Image was produced by N. Lewis and is provided courtesy of the National Park Service.)


According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), identification tips for a northern mockingbird include a “gray head and upperparts, yellow eye[s], white underparts, [a] long black tail with white outer tail feathers, white wing bars…[and] black legs.”

Do you have questions about communities in Grant County?

A street name?  A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

 Contact Richard McDonough at


© 2019 Richard McDonough