Friday, July 10, 2020

Those Orange-hued Hummingbirds in The Cuyamacas

Back in March and April, after the pandemic was in high gear and I was home virtually all the time, I saw many Selasphorus sp. hummingbirds - with plenty of Rufous Hummingbird males making ID easy - at my feeders. The peak number seen was 6 individuals on April 2 - all Rufous Hummingbirds, with five males and one female, identified by her notched tail feathers as described in Sibley.

The second highest number was four at once seen on March 6, almost a month earlier.

These were individuals heading north to their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest from Mexico.

These Selasphorus sp. hummers come to mind as I saw a Selasphorus hummer today, but only had a brief view, and could not even determine its sex, let alone species. But they are back, it seems, with some southward movement not too unusual in summer here.

Here are some images of the Rufous Hummingbirds seen in spring here in Cuyamaca Woods, in somewhat chronological order.

An obvious Rufous Hummingbird male with a very rufous back. March 4, 2020.

March 6, Rufous male photographed in late afternoon.

A likely Rufous female, April 3. March was a very busy month, teaching at three colleges remotely, thus the lack of photos for a while.

Rufous male, April 3.

Rufous male, April 3.

Rufous male in flight, April 4.

April 4, in the morning, it was quite chilly out. This male believed he owned the feeder at this point, and defended it vigorously. He was often puffed up in the chill, as this image shows.

The little prince, scratching an itch, April 4.

Tongue out, April 4.

The last spring 2020 images I shot of Selasphorus sp. hummingbirds was this day, April 14. Again, I was very busy at this time, and didn't take every opportunity to photograph them. They were fairly consistent for over a month, though.

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