[CT Birds] Hummingbirds can be tough

kfinnan at aol.com kfinnan at aol.com
Sat Sep 20 01:19:13 EDT 2014

Mark, I have spent the evening looking at years of photos, admittedly perhaps not statistically valid, but no Ruby-throated here has ever looked like that, with the flecks on the flanks not to mention the buffy color. The chin pattern differs, too. Our Ruby-throated male "Hummy Juniors" this time of year always have a more consistent dotted line pattern on the throat with a few red flecks burning in.

There is always an aggressive, alpha male-in-training and, sometimes, like this year, a less aggressive young male. Now, there is also one young female.

For some reason, the three of them are hanging around later than usual. I wish I knew why and had them all figured out, too. But I do wish them safe travels when they depart.

Kevin Finnan
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Szantyr via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
To: CTbirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Fri, Sep 19, 2014 7:27 pm
Subject: [CT Birds] Hummingbirds can be tough


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 


Mark Szantyr
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