Monday, September 8, 2008

Hummer Update#1

Fred Bassett writes...

Fellow Hummer Lovers,

I just got home from a wonderful summer out west studying hummingbirds so I can recognize the rare hummer that shows up at your feeder this winter. I banded over 1700 hummers of seven species in Idaho, Texas, Washington, and Colorado. If you would like to see some pictures of hummers from this summer, the link is thanks to my friend Fred Dietrich.

It really is time to start looking through your hordes of Ruby-throated hummersd to see if you have a western visitor. I already have reports of four banded Rufous hummers back for the winter. Especially if you hosted a hummer last winter, please check out your hummers carefully. Returning winter hummers tend to come back earlier each fall. You won't have a problem identifying an adult male Rufous with its rufous colored back and irridescent orange gorget, but females and immature males are more difficult to spot. Look for extensive cinnamon along the flanks and rufous color on the interior part of the tail to seperate them from Ruby-throated hummers. Identification can be tricky, so I'll be glad to talk to you about it if you aren't sure about what you might have.

Please remember that I'll come to your home any time time to identify and band a western hummer and, between 15 November and March 1, I'll come for any hummer at your feeder. Last winter we had 9 species of winter hummers, and you never know what might show up this winter.

If you can make it to Fort Morgan for fall banding, we will open there Saturday October 4 and go through 17 October. I'm looking forward to seeing many of my friends, both feathered and human, there.

I'm excited about the possibilities of this winter hummer season. This summer out west I told lots of hummers about the wonderful hummer gardens and feeders waiting for them in the southeast. I hope some of them will take me up on my offer and meet me in your yard this winter.



immature male Black-chinned Hummingbird a.k.a "Pepe", banded by Fred in Andy's yard January 2008.

adult male Rufous Hummingbird

female Rufous Hummingbird

Green-breasted Mango, Dublin, GA winter 2007/08
We are all hoping that we get one of these fella's in our yard!

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