Posts Tagged ‘hummingbird’

A new hummingbird!

Phil spotted the first hummingbird of the season at our Hummingbird Mint. It is different than the Broad-tailed hummingbird Phil photographed last year. Today’s was a bright yellow, with rufous (reddish-brown) underparts and a speckled throat.

My best guess is that it is a female Rufous hummingbird. The Rufous is very hard to tell from the Allen’s hummingbird, but I believe that the Allen’s range is much more limited and does not seem to come even close to Colorado.

Some interesting facts about the Rufous:

  • A territorial hummingbird known to be aggressive with other, larger hummingbirds.
  • It makes one of the longest migratory journeys of any bird in the world, as measured by body size: 3,900 miles from Alaska to Mexico, equivalent to 784,500 body lengths.
  • It has a heart rate of 480 beats per minute when resting, up to 1,260 beats per minute when excited.
  • It feeds on nectar a minimum of sixty times a day, at 13 licks per second, playing an important role in pollinating at least 129 plant species.

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More on the hummingbird…

I found this cool site that helped identify our little nectar lover as a Broad-tailed hummingbird. The key was noticing that her underparts are pale orange-brown and her throat is speckled.Hummingbird Close-Up

(If I’m wrong, please comment and let me know!)

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Phil has succeeded where I failed. He camped out on the hammock and waited for the hummingbird to return. It was well worthwhile, he got some really great shots. These two are my favorites. Hummingbird by PhilHummingbird 2 by Phil

After a bit of research I’m still unsure about the species, but I’m pretty sure it’s a female. The less-than-stunning throat, visible in the top picture, and the white tips on the tail, especially visible in the lower picture, are good clues.

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