Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site

  Rufous Hummingbird

Published: November 07, 2019
Tags: Rarities, rufous hummingbird, cattaraugus, michael o’brien

It was with great luck and a few planets aligning that I was able to document a nice rarity for the Cattaraugus / BOS region.  A Rufous Hummingbird had been coming to the feeders of a retired couple’s home for a couple of weeks and they fortunately mentioned it to one of the owners of Wild Birds Unlimited yesterday when picking up some bird supplies.

A series of events fell into place and I soon found myself sitting in their home chatting with the kind homeowners, waiting for the bird to visit their feeder.  The bird never came that evening and I drove home disappointed.  However, we had made plans for me to come back and try again the next morning, in spite of the predicted snow and rain.  Soon, I was again at their home bright and early.  Actually, it wasn't very bright - it was a dismal morning with on-again, off-again rain and snow, 38°F, and heavy cloud cover.  Fortunately, though, I wasn't there long when the stunning bird made a quick stop at the feeder.  I managed a couple of photos but ohhhh, was he fast!  I quickly sent photos off the back of my camera to our local expert, Alec, who forwarded them right away to expert, Michael O’Brien.  Before I was done collecting more photos, we had the ID  determined to be a young male Rufous Hummingbird, with the sometimes indistinguishable and close look-alike, Allen’s Hummingbird, ruled-out.

Many thanks from me and the Buffalo Ornithological Society to the homeowners, Ray and Nancy, for their generosity - and also from me to Alec Humann for giving me the chance to see this rare beauty!  We later heard from Nancy that the bird continued visiting their feeders right up until the 26th, a sunny, 50° day - which probably motivated it to leave Western New York and try to find its way home.  Bon voyage, little one!

Below are the best photos I was able to get due to his speed and the low light conditions.

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These are the best shots I was able to get...

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Young male Rufous Hummingbird - you can see the gorget beginning to get color

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Young male Rufous Hummingbird

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