Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Look carefully at those hummingbirds!

I got an email from some people who live out in the woods in northern Wisconsin who have an unusual hummingbird visiting their feeder. For now they prefer to remain anonymous. It belongs to Selasphorus and I'm virtually positive it's an immature male Rufous, but it's hard to say with 100% certainty that it's not Allen's. He appears to have too much rufous in the tail to be a Broad-tailed. He's a handsome little bird. I digiscoped these photos--he's skittish and not used to being gawked at by strangers, so birding pressure could well send him on his way. If you wish to see him, send me an email and I can put you in contact with the people. I've notified a prominent Douglas County birder who I know will respect the landowners' wishes. Hard as it is for some birders to believe, many non-birders, and even many birders, don't like the feeling of being invaded by hordes of listers. And under stressful conditions such as this drought, it's very important that we don't add further stresses to rare or even common birds.

With this year's drought, pay close attention to your hummers--you never know what's wandering around desperate for food and water.

By the way, I've finally updated my Rufous Hummingbird photo gallery. It now includes these photos I took today, a few photos and a link to the rest of the photos I'd taken of my own November-December 2004 Rufous Hummingbird, and the photos I took in Mexico. Some of those, of an adult male, are especially nice.