[CT Birds] Rufous Hummer news fro Scott Weidensaul

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 15:59:02 EST 2012

This encouraging report was just forwarded to me from another list.  Maybe
it isn't as bleak for these little wanderers as I thought.

Kathy Van Der Aue

  Although this report regards an out of state bird, given the
interest in (and sometimes concern for) fall/winter hummingbirds in
the Northeast, I thought it was worth sharing, with the permission of
bander Allen Chartier of Michigan.

  In October 2009, Allen banded an adult female rufous hummingbird in
Ashland County, Ohio, where it was last seen in early November of that
year. In December 2010, the same bird was recaptured in Pensacola,
Florida, by bander Fred Bassett, showing that she's survived the
intervening migrations.

  Allen just notified the hummingbird-banding community that he
recaptured this little traveler yesterday in Richland County, Ohio,
about 15 miles from where she was originally banded; the bird has been
present since about Nov. 1. "This is only the second Rufous
Hummingbird confirmed as a returnee to Ohio (none yet in Michigan or
Indiana), and is the first 'triple play' I've ever been involved
with," Allen said.

  "Since she was banded in 2009, she has likely flown at least 15,000
miles, including two returns in summer back to her breeding area
somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (from Oregon to southern Alaska),"
Allen posted. "She is also at least 3 years 6 months old."

 I know there are still a few folks who are skeptical that these
vagrant western hummingbirds actually survive their time here in the
North, but as we get more and more banding data and a growing body of
recoveries like this, it confirms what we've long suspected - that
these are tough, hardy continental travelers.

  Scott Weidensaul
  Schuylkill Haven, PA

Kathy Van Der Aue
Southport, Connecticut

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