Rufous Hummingbird?

Yesterday and today a number of pictures were taken of one or more very interesting-looking hummingbirds. Reading through the chat, people seem to be pretty sure it’s a female Rufous Hummingbird, which I can certainly believe, though I’ve never felt confident in distinguishing female Rufous Hummingbirds from Allen’s Hummingbirds. But Allen’s would be extremely unusual (maybe completely unknown?) for Welder, whereas Rufous is listed as Rare in the fall on the Welder checklist, and I long ago gave in to the desire to ID these little gals based on geographic range if the season supports it.

I’m a little hesitant to jump completely on board with the Rufous Hummingbird classification, though, because to my eye, some of these images look to me like they might be a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, a bird that doesn’t appear at all in the Welder checklist, but that seems like a better possibility for a migration stopover than the Rufous, at least based on the Sibley range maps.

At this point a handful of images have been ID’d as Rufous, though, so hooray for the new species. I believe some of the people who are calling this a Rufous have experience banding hummingbirds, too, which is more than I can say. Anyway, here are some of the best images, courtesy of leacox, avatar99, idbirds, and annelizabeth, respectively:

Image 47172

Image 47179

Image 47459

Image 47828

Congratulations to everyone who got a shot of this cute little hummer!

2 Responses to “Rufous Hummingbird?”

  1. loughman1 says:

    At this time of year, I don’t think we can confidently say “female.” The bird could also be a young male. Given the amount of rufous on the chest, I think that “male” a good possibility.

  2. elanus says:

    Ah, interesting. Thanks for that information. And where do you come down on the Broad-tailed vs. Rufous question?

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