steepravine: Late Night Special: Hummer Humming (Mount…

Friday, August 12th, 2016


Late Night Special: Hummer Humming

(Mount Tamalpais, California – 4/2014)

Today’s fun fact: I’ve known the Anna’s Hummingbird since I started birdwatching as a kid. It’s definitely a fave. But I never knew until this morning who the bird’s namesake was.

From the Anna’s Hummingbird on Wikipedia:

Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna), a medium-sized hummingbird native to the west coast of North America, was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.[2]

But who was Anna Masséna you ask?

Anne Debelle, Princesse d’Essling (1802 – 1887), was a French courtier. She served as Grand-Maitresse (Mistress of the Robes) to Empress Eugénie de Montijo in 1853-1870.

But but but… That would mean she’s in that famous Winterhalter painting of Eugénie. And so she is!


She’s the lady in the pink dress! I love that of all of them she’s the one who’s focused, hummingbird-like, on the nearby spray of flowers.

Follow-up fun fact: as Mistress of the Robes, Anna was in charge of Eugénie’s ladies in waiting, controlled the empress’s appointment schedule, and appeared with her at important events. She was about 53 when this painting was made.

Reposted from