[CT Birds] Violetears in CT

greg hanisek ctgregh at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 1 19:58:46 EDT 2017

Two reports of hummingbirds believed tobe Violetears have come forward in Connecticut in the past two weeks.There is a one-observer report from a Milford feeder on Aug. 20 and afamily report from a Litchfield County feeder on Aug. 27. The Milfordbird was reported as a Green Violetear. The Litchfield bird came withphotos and a query about the bird's identity. Both were reportedafter the fact, seen by only the original observers and not seensince. The possibility that the reports involve the same individualcannot be ruled out. CT's lone Broad-billed Hummingbird, seen for oneday only on Aug. 13, 2008 in Montville, was likely the sameindividual that appeared shortly thereafter at a MA feeder and begana long stay.
Green Violetear has a history of foraysdeep into North America, with records as far north as Canada.However, it no longer exists. In 2016 the American Ornithologist'sUnion split the taxon into two species – Mexican Violetear (theform involved in N.A. sightings) and Lesser Violetear, a South American native.
The still photos provided from theLitchfield County feeder visit (by a family that wants to maintainits privacy) show the Green Violetear tail pattern (blue tail withprominent dark subterminal bar). Analysis by experts will be soughtto confirm the ID as Mexican Violetear, although homeownerobservations and the photos (which are backlit) point to thatspecies.
Most of the species' numerousappearances are from the central part of the continent. Ebird showsmany records for Texas but none for Florida. The northernmost is fromThunder Bay, Ontario, with more than two dozen records between thereand Texas. Records from the East are much sparser but include Maine(8/19/07), New Jersey (8/23/05), Quebec (10/11/08), and two forMaryland (10/11-12/11 and 10/25/11). Note the congruence of dates inME and NJ with the CT reports.
Greg HanisekSecretaryAvian Records Committee of CT

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