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Must be spring fever!

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Old Friday 25th March 2005, 02:26   #1
humminbird
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Must be spring fever!

I had a surprise visitor this evening. I am definitely in Ruby-throated country - tall pines, oaks and pecans, but I had to rub my eyes when I had a Black-chinned male (long thin bill, short slightly forked tail, round wings and pumping the tail like crazy) this evening. These guys are around in the fall but this is a very surprising spring visit.

Mark
Bastrop, TX
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Old Friday 25th March 2005, 04:46   #2
crickieheather
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humminbird
I had a surprise visitor this evening. I am definitely in Ruby-throated country - tall pines, oaks and pecans, but I had to rub my eyes when I had a Black-chinned male (long thin bill, short slightly forked tail, round wings and pumping the tail like crazy) this evening. These guys are around in the fall but this is a very surprising spring visit.

Mark
Bastrop, TX
Awesome! Do black-chinned hummers always pump tails? I had a visitor last year that did. I just though it was a different male RT, because I never got a really close look at it. It seemed to be a bit large than the other hummers I had at the time, but that was just 2 weeks after I'd put up my first feeder. I just couldn't tell the difference at all. I'm still not experienced enough to tell the females apart even now. He only stuck around for about 2 weeks, then left right before I got my camera set up to take close up photos of them feeding. Do some RT hummer pump the tails, or do they always hold them still?
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Old Friday 25th March 2005, 13:22   #3
humminbird
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Tail Pumping

Most of the people I talk to seem to think a very active tail is a pretty good sign of a Black-chinned IF Archilochus are the only species possible. In my case, I have found it to be about 95% accurate when I follow up with a careful identification using the other features. Generally, Black-chinneds tend to pump their tails while hovering, Ruby-throated seem to keep their tails quite still in hovering.
I never like to use a behavior trait as my sole basis for identification though.

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Old Friday 25th March 2005, 17:52   #4
Nutcracker
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Like a lot of the western hummers, they're starting to winter in small numbers in the southeast US on hummer feeders - so they're moving east in fall, and it is only to be expected they'll be moving back west in the spring in smaller numbers (minus the ones that didn't make it through the winter).

I'd think it is very likely that this will be an individual that remembers your feeders from its migration last fall.

Last edited by Nutcracker : Friday 25th March 2005 at 17:55. Reason: typo
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Old Saturday 26th March 2005, 00:34   #5
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Like a lot of the western hummers, they're starting to winter in small numbers in the southeast US on hummer feeders - so they're moving east in fall, and it is only to be expected they'll be moving back west in the spring in smaller numbers (minus the ones that didn't make it through the winter).

I'd think it is very likely that this will be an individual that remembers your feeders from its migration last fall.

We've been feeding here steady for six years now. I know that Black-chinned were spending the winter on the coast for several years before that. This year we even had one spend part of the winter with us. But a mid March Black-chinned is out of the norm for this area in my opinion.

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