A New Hummer at the Feeder…

22May07

Just a quick hummingbird update. I’ve been working on identifying hummingbirds but there is a trick with this particular bird. First, they are the most likely of all birds to combine species. This of course means that most of them are only truly identified by an ornithologist – and usually by the inside of their wings and the bottoms of the tail feathers. So in order to identify them I have to attempt to do it by the most sighted in my area. And secondly, so many of them look alike. In the case of the Rufous Hummingbird (for example) it looks amazingly like an Allen. The Allen Hummingbird as far as I can tell differ by flight pattern.

The Black Chinned Hummingbird. My son was the first one to pick out that there was a new guy. He’s like a hummer in a tux. Rumor has it he is quite the romancer as well – courting the gals with a dazzling dance in the sky.

This is the Rufous Hummingbird with his lady friend at the feeder.

And lastly, a Calliope Hummingbird in flight.

I’m sure that this covers all the species of the hummers that have been visiting my feeder. Right now there seems to be around two dozen different ones. Me personally? When evening feeding comes along I really can’t keep my eyes off these little guys jetting around. A person could really get addicted to watching these little fellows buzz around. They all nest up in the huckleberry bushes in the yard. I’m hoping to get a glimpse of a nest with eggs. If I do you’ll be the first to know.

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6 Responses to “A New Hummer at the Feeder…”

  1. 1 montucky

    Those are terrific photos! I’m in awe! I haven’t tried to photograph ours yet, but doubt I’ll do that well.

    We’re addicted to them too, and can tell that we have several species, but haven’t been able to clearly identify them yet. I’m pretty sure we have a nest or two in out lilacs, and the last couple of years there were nests in a fir tree in the yard.

  2. I’m pretty sure that your area actually has a couple more species than we do. (It takes a determined little hummer to make it so far north as our homestead – this includes the BC Canada area which is so close to our doorstep.) The real trick to identifying them is that each one looks so close to another species. I’ll bet dollars to donuts you have these three already tho. (I don’t even make an attempt to identify females :o) I’m just happy so many show up!

  3. 3 Hossein

    Nice photos. I wish you did not have to use flash to capture the beautiful birds.
    Are you living close to Washington that is famous for its cherry blooms in spring? I wish I have a chance to visit there.
    It will be more interesting if you post some technical information about your photos.

  4. Great shots – you’re fortunate to have a good variety there! We usually have only Anna’s and Allen’s, with anything else causing excitement on birding email lists.

    Allen’s vs. Rufous, by the way, is a classic nearly-impossible identification challenge (actually it IS impossible with females unless you see them mating or on a nest (I don’t believe their breeding grounds overlap)).

  5. Hi Hossein,

    Thank you for visiting.

    I have captured these fellows in the daylight but to be honest they are a subject unlike any other. By the light of the sun their colors change so often it is so magical and lovely to look at! But for identification purposes it’s frustrating. (They consistently change color depending upon their angle to the sun and shade) The flash was necessary because these shots are at night time feeding (about an hour after the sun goes down.) I also on a personal I preferred the black background I got at night and the starkness of the bird under the flash – it really captures their real markings in a way sunlight alters them.

    I’ll upload some daytime shots on my flickr site so you can take a gander at these fellows in the day – without the flash.

    In Washington (USA) were pretty famous for our apples. We grow Red Delicious which is pretty prized all over the world. (and we love visitors over here :o)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aullori

    All of my photos are uploaded on the above flickr site. If you go there and take a gander you can find all the specs on the photos you see here. Just click on the photo you want specs on – and then there will be a link to the right that says “more properties” That will give you all the tech. info on the photos.

    Again thank you for stopping by!

  6. Your right Adam thankfully their breeding grounds don’t overlap otherwise I’d be in big trouble!! God forbid if a stray were to come our way! For as far up north as we are it is pretty neat to have at least these three – at first I thought there were more until I took into consideration the way these birds change over time (and how different the females generally look!) These hummingbirds trick my eye all the time. However, that seems to be about 90% of the fun in this identification game. :o) By the way to say nice shots – coming from a bird lover such as your self I really have to say hey, thanks!


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