Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Are You Seeing Hummingbirds?
The chatter on some of the birding listserves I belong to has had a lot of focus lately on the question of where are all the hummingbirds? Of course, we're talking about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris, here in the eastern part of the country. I'm sure there are more being seen in their usual haunts out west (let me know if I'm wrong!). We had an unusual spring migration here in the midwest with late migrants and species showing up in out of range places. So the question is, Do you feel you're seeing hummingbirds in their usual numbers and places? Movement south will be starting soon for this group and I'm keeping my eyes on the garden flowers to see if I have any visitors.
As a side note, fall is the time to be especially cautious when looking at hummingbirds. We seem to see vagrants every year. For some reason Wisconsin has had a few spectacular vagrants in the recent past. Keep your eyes open!
The above picture is today's quiz. Can you put this bird into it's proper taxonomic group just from the photo? This isn't a characteristic that is often seen in the field.