[CT Birds] Hummingbirds can be tough

Mark Szantyr birdinggeek at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 19:27:12 EDT 2014


While birding at the local community garden this morning, I located 4 hummingbirds using the remaining flowers. One of these birds was very colorful and quite aggressive. It sat up on a fence in front of me, allowing a few record photos. The bird showed very broad warm buffy flanks that were generously speckled with metallic green.  The gorget was heavily speckled with dark feather centers. This bird suggested a member of the genus selasphorus in its color and behavior. It took quite a while to be able to see the tail well enough and to evaluate the characters with enough confidence to call it a hatch year male Ruby-throated Hummingbird ( i think!!). 

The very colorful flanks were more buffy than rusty, the green in the flanks looks like it would ultimately form the vest of a male RTHU, and there was no red visible in the tail. Its vocalizations, likewise, were those of a RTHU. 

Hummingbirds are promiscuous and hybridization is well known. While this individual suggests the possibility of a Rufous X Ruby-throat, i think it still is within the range for a young male RTHU. 

If anyone were to get only a quick glance at this bird, it could easily be called a Rufous Hummingbird.... as it was this morning until it landed for a long look. 

Just an FYI and a public admittal of having been duped yet again by a 3 gram puzzle. 


Mark Szantyr

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