Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Unexpected Visitor: Rufous Hummingbird

Well, I think my computer is back up and running....  Three weeks after getting a new computer, the hard drive crashed.  While it was under warranty, that still necessitated sending it back to the Toshiba factory, which kept it for three interminable weeks.  Once we got it back, it's taken almost a week to restore the programs and files, then get my photos back up.  There's been so much going on in the yard that it's been tough to be without my technical sidekick.  Sharing these happenings just isn't the same without photos to illustrate what I'm seeing.

However, as if to celebrate the return of my computer to reasonable use again, I've had an unexpected visitor in my back yard for about 48 hours now:  a very territorial, very brightly colored, adult, male rufous hummingbird!

This is NOT a usual visitor in this area, to my knowledge, so I wasn't sure I was believing my eyes at first.  But adult male rufous hummingbirds are nothing if not distinctive, so I was soon quite sure of my identification.  As you can see, I've even been able to catch a couple photos of my wanderer - albeit fuzzy photos because I took them from inside the kitchen.

We are well out of the normal range for a rufous, but they are known to be explorers and are probably the most common out-of-range hummingbirds sighted across the United States.  Generally, they breed in western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S, then winter down in Mexico, along the west coast.

However, it's believed that rufous hummingbirds are starting to develop a secondary wintering site in southern Florida and along the Gulf perhaps this guy is on his way to the "new wintering hotspot"!

Whatever his final destination is going to be, I'm glad that he chose to stop at our animal "bed & breakfast" for a while.  It's been a lot of fun to watch him and steal a few photos now and then.


ProfessorRoush said...

Fabulous. I've never seen one. Congratulations.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Awesome on having the hummer stop by. Have never seen one like that here. I continue to put out fresh sugar water but so far this year, not one hummer that I've seen. Any day now! I hope.

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

I had a Rufous hummingbird in SC this summer too!!! Those crazy hummers. I put the pictures on facebook, are you on there? If not, here is my email address,(thequeenofseafordATgmailDOTcom) I can send you my Rufous pix. I had Georgia Hummer group wanting to come and try to capture and band him. Sadly he only hung around for a day and a half.
Sorry you have had computer problems. I think I am living on borrowed time.

Gaia Gardener: said...

GonSS, I hope you'll have one or more stop by. I'm a little surprised you don't have them passing through, at least during migration, but you may be just a bit too far west. Just be sure to change your sugar water every couple days, even if they aren't drinking it. I've found that I can make up small batched (2 TBSP sugar to 1/2 cup of water) and not feel so wasteful or have to store it in the frig.