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Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Rufous or an Allen's?

This little one was protecting one of the feeders from all comers while I was on Mt. Lemmon yesterday. Most of the time she stayed at the feeder chasing off all that approached but occasionally she would head up into some close branches only to swoop down on the unsuspecting.

At first I thought she was a Rufous hummer, as there were several visiting the feeders, but the rufous/cinnamon coverts on this one has me a little unsure enough to make a proper identification. _Hummingbirds of North America, The Photographic Guide_ suggests this might even be a hybrid of the two... but also says that a positive ID usually requires the bird in hand.

I should also say that the gorget was a brilliant gold color when it reflected the limited sunlight.

Experienced birders are free to offer suggestions of a more positive ID.

[Update] Thanks everyone who contacted me with their input on this bird.

Canon 20D - 1/200th second, 500mm @ f/ 6.3, ISO 3200


Blogger Rick said...

Yes, it's an Allen's/Rufous, but it's impossible to separate the two in the field unless you have improbably wonderful views of the shapes of the tail feathers (and even then...).
Keep at it!

6:57 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'd lean towards her being a Rufous, but it's really hard to tell. It must've been fun hanging around the feeder!

6:01 PM  

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