[Tweeters] Rufous again-female this time

Mike Clarke redeyegravy at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 12:13:47 PST 2016

Just had a bright male this morning at Nisqually.

Mike Clarke
On Feb 26, 2016 6:30 PM, <earthman1950 at whidbey.com> wrote:

> At risk of losing my birding reputation, I am reporting a female rufous

> hummingbird that was on a feeder outside my living room this afternoon. I'm

> not one who looks for rare sightings, travels to see birds in unusual

> places, or tries to see a species first in an area. I just like watching

> birds. I did not get any photos as it didn't stay on the feeder very long,

> but I will be looking for it tomorrow.


> I was sitting watching tv when this bird appeared on the feeder right

> outside the window. It looked small, just as a male rufous had first

> appeared two days ago on the same feeder. After looking at nothing but

> Anna's for the past six months, the slightly smaller size of a rufous is

> readily apparent. I grabbed my binos from the table next to the chair and

> took a look. The bird was on the feeder, mostly facing me. I could clearly

> see red on the flank, a red spot on the throat, and some streaks on the

> sides of the throat. The bird was definitely lighter in color than an

> Anna's on the front. I could not see the back of the bird from that angle.

> I know this is early, especially for a female, but there is nothing else it

> could be but a rufous. I was outside for a couple hours at our place during

> mid day today and looked for rufous hummers during that time, but didn't

> see any. There are plenty of Anna's right now spread out over our acreage

> with 9 feeders, but not noticeably more than in the past month. Our

> Red-flowering Currants in our field are breaking into bloom as well, all 33

> of them, which will hopefully be a beacon to any passers by.


> I looked on the internet to see if it might be possible that an immature

> male could look like a female at this time of year, but I could not find

> that information. The sources said that the young males have their adult

> plumage by winter. Is there any chance that this bird was a male that

> hadn't gained its adult plumage yet? Seems unlikely, but perhaps someone

> here would know if that is a possibility.


> George Heleker

> earthman1950 at whidbey.com

> Clinton, WA-Whidbey Island




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