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Monday, August 13, 2012

Return of the Rufous

As I've reported here over the last two or three weeks, the hummingbird activity in my yard has been frantic. There have been several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds passing through, but I really had not had much of a chance to get out and observe the action. Until today.

Guess what I found? It's not just RTHs. I've got Rufous Hummingbirds, too!

I'd had a couple of the little birds spend the season with me last winter and I was certainly hoping they would return, but I never expected them this early. As soon as I realized they were here, I went and grabbed my camera and tried to record their presence.

An adult male was cooperative enough to sit still on his favorite perch for a while as I snapped away.

His head was constantly swiveling as he responded to the presence of other hummers in the area.

 He was ready to take off at a moment's notice to defend his space.

No movement escaped his notice!

"Who's that over there? Is she a threat?"

An adult female was sitting just a couple of feet away from him on another bare twig.

She, too, was keeping a beady eye on all those other hummer interlopers.

 Left, right, left, right - that little head was constantly in motion.

Look at those tiny, tiny feet. These birds never cease to amaze me. How can something so small be so perfectly a bird? How can they even be in the same family as Whooping Cranes or Bald Eagles?

I took my nectar feeders down and scrubbed them and refilled them and a little later I was rewarded by seeing one of the adult males visiting one of them.

Hmmm...I wonder if there might be other hummer species in my yard that I haven't seen yet?


  1. I was getting divebombed by hummers in the garden today. I assume they were RTH's but now I see your photos, I wonder if I had a rufous.

    1. Until recent years, we could pretty much assume that any hummer we saw around here was an RTH, but with the changing climate, more and more different species are turning up in this area. I was surprised not only to see the Rufouses this early but also to see them in numbers. There were at least three or four in my yard today.

  2. Wonderful photos. Amazing detail. It is so hard to get a picture of these guys because they are so fast. Love the pics with the tail feathers fanned out. Great job!

    1. Thanks, Steph. I'm showing you some of the best shots that I took. There were a LOT of others that were just a blur!