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Rufous Hummingbird in Southerntier

Published October 18, 2015
Tags: General Observations, Rufous Hummingbird

I was very thrilled to get an invitation to accompany a good friend down to Poland, New York to see a possible Rufous Hummingbird.  The hummer had been coming to the feeder of a private residence for the past two weeks and our timing was such that we went on the first day of snow here in WNY!  Braving the elements, we traveled through a good 3 inches of un-plowed roads, making for a slow and tense journey.  We wondered out loud if the western bird would have stayed the night, given the conditions.

Fortunately, no sooner had we gotten to the homeowner's back porch, when the hummer showed-up, generously helping itself to the nectar left out for it. The kind homeowner had been taking the feeder inside on the last few cold nights to keep it from freezing.

There's always a question regarding these western, vagrant hummingbirds as to whether it is a Rufous Hummingbird or an Allen's Hummingbird.  Sometimes, depending on age and sex, it's not even possible to determine what species it is other than DNA testing.

Fortunately, in this case, our photos submitted to some experts showed it to be an adult, female Rufous Hummingbird. Its green back and the orange gorget (neck) feathers showed it to be an adult female and its broad, outer tail feathers clinched the final ID to be a Rufous.

The pretty, little hummer came several times while we were there, in spite of the snow piling up around the area. I wonder if it is going to get out of town tonight and kiss this Western New York weather goodbye!
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Adult, female Rufous Hummingbird
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Rufous Hummingbird
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Rufous Hummingbird
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Rufous Hummingbird
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Rufous Hummingbird
Reply from: tim on 11/2/2015 7:58 PM
 beautiful work you have been doing Sue !