[Tweeters] Unusual-looking hummingbird, West Seattle

Tucker, Trileigh TRI at seattleu.edu
Wed Jul 9 13:03:39 PDT 2014

Hi Tweets,

Just now an unusual-looking hummingbird visited my feeder, which is about 5’ from my desk and currently sunlit, so I had an excellent view. I was startled because the hummingbird’s head and back looked dark gray: not the green of the adult Anna’s who regularly come by, nor the faded buff-tan of the juveniles. There was a sharp divide between the dark chin and the very light/dull white breast. The hummingbird also had quite a fluffy bottom at the base of the breast, and seemed unusually small compared with an adult Anna’s.

Of course my camera was downstairs (not any more!), so I have no photos to share, about which I’m much chagrined.

My hummingbird-sensors have been especially alert for the past few days, because I’ve been hearing what sounds like unusual whirring from a particular hummingbird. I haven’t been able to get a good diagnostic photo since that hummingbird always sits on the farthest tube on the other side of the feeder, but it has had me wondering if there’s someone unusual out there.

Checking Tweeters records, I was surprised to see four reports of Black-chinned Hummingbirds in Western Washington—including this one from 2009 of a sighting right here in West Seattle<http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Mail/Tweeters/575142?year=2009>. I wonder if this could have been one.

Generically speaking, of course, the chances are that any unusual sighting is just a normal bird in unusual lighting, or a normal bird in the presence of an unusually slow human brain, but I wanted to share this sighting anyway so that folks can keep a lookout just in case.

Happy birding to all,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Trileigh Tucker
Lincoln Park, West Seattle
Natural history website: naturalpresencearts.com<naturalpresence.wordpress.com>
Photography: flickr.com/photos/trileigh

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