[CT Birds] the great RT Hummingbird controversy

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Fri Mar 23 20:57:36 EDT 2012

While I generally agree with Marshall Iliff,in his rants, I think, first of 
 all, he is a little too eager to be dismissive of all out-of-season 
sightings.  We certainly see things that are in the wrong place at the wrong time 
in CT, and  in the case of hummers, we frequently get NON-RUBYTHOAT hummers 
in the winter  that typically last until early February. Case in point, the 
Calliope in  Simsbury a few years ago. In most cases they simply perish as 
that one did  because they cannot withstand the weather, but certainly this 
year it would have  had a good chance. And as to the Michigan reference, I 
follow the Mi. list  occasionally and was aware of those sightings. I am also 
aware that Allen  Chartier, Mi. birding guru and expert on hummers in 
particular, cautioned on  their list to be careful in ID'ing such sightings, not 
because they might not be  hummers, but because they MIGHT NOT BE 
RUBYTHROATS! Mi has had a winter almost  on par with ours, and he apparently feels it 
is quite likely that birds such as  Rufous and Allens could have made it 
As to the thrush, while most of us know a winter Wood thrush is unlikely,  
we also know that a winter Hermit is very possible. I saw one at least a 
month  ago now, and another last Tuesday at Pomfret Audubon on a bird walk. And 
I  believe someone could easily mis-ID a thrush and still know a hummer 
when they  saw it. 
Ok, that's my rant.
Don Morgan

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