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Old Monday 4th January 2016, 15:50   #1
austexican
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Winter Visitor

Yesterday I finally caught this little guy (or gal). I had been staking out the hummingbird feeder off and on most of the day and unsuccessfully for the last week or so. This pic was shot handheld at 1/1000 sec.

This is a most unusual flight attitude for the hummer. Speaking as a former member of the University of Texas varsity springboard diving team, it looks like the bird is initiating a reverse 2 1/2 somersault! I could execute the maneuver but never with such precision!
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Old Monday 4th January 2016, 20:22   #2
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They are hard little devils to catch on camera. Looks like this might be a Rufous?
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2016, 04:32   #3
austexican
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Could be rufous. They wander about erratically. Some years back when I was living in the Washington, DC area I remember that the biologists and ornithologists at the Smithsonian were terribly excited that a rufous had taken up residence near the mall. It made the front page of the Washington Post! Here is another shot of the same bird.
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Old Sunday 10th January 2016, 19:56   #4
austexican
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We had a touch of frost last night and the high today is expected to be no more than 49 degrees. That hummer is still hanging around my feeder. Maybe I should request his immigration status?
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Old Monday 11th January 2016, 20:06   #5
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We've had frost a few times and one pretty hard freeze (28 degrees F) so far this winter. I have about a dozen that stay all year round -- at least for the last 15 years. I make the nectar stronger (so it doesn't freeze) when I know the temps will get down to 28 or so. Any colder and I bring the feeders in after dark and take them back out before dawn -- they are always waiting at dawn, even after the coldest nights.
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Old Tuesday 12th January 2016, 05:19   #6
austexican
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Thanks for the advice, PumaMan. I have never entertained a hummer this late in the season.
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Old Tuesday 12th January 2016, 23:24   #7
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We get temps down around 20 degrees F at least once each year (usually about now) and sometimes the temps go down to the upper teens. Even on the coldest nights, the hummers are there drinking until it is dark and they are there right when it gets light.

If you have any hanging around in the winter the the rule is: if you are going to miss feeding them, do it in the summer -- not the winter. They need that nectar on real cold mornings.
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