Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hummingbirds of Arizona (long)

On our trip to AZ during the first week of August, we recorded 11 species of hummingbird. I was able to digiscope 9 of the 11, plus a hybrid. I've posted my better shots here, trying to include as many plumages as I could. This was my first shot at delving into the hummingbirds of the southwest. The small gorgeted species can really provide an ID challenge, as evidenced by the difficultly eastern birders often have identifying vagrants. At times they can be humbling.

Seen but NOT photographed were:
Berylline Hummingbird (Amazilia beryllina)
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)


Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris):

adult male


adult male




immature male


likely immature male, due to blue coming into throat and very thin pale tips to outer retrices


immature male...blueish tail striking in flight; relative lack of white in tail tip seem to rule out female

White-eared Hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis):









adult males

Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps):



adults

Blue-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae):











male

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens):



male

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri):

















adult males, some more worn than others




female, likely adult...females average longer bills




likely immature male due to moderately spotted throat and fresh plumage was apparent in the field




I believe this to be a young male Black-chinned. Pointing to Archilochus are small-headed look, narrow inner primaries, and whitish underparts. Whitish tips to many body feathers indicate a young bird. Any comments?

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna):





adult male




adult female Anna's, looks fresh, likely recently molted (adult Anna's molt during summer)






female Anna's, unsure of age...grayish underparts with a bit of green on the sides, plus a hint of gray-green on the undertail coverts help ID this as Anna's from these photos




I'm calling this bird an Anna's after taking some time to consider Broad-tailed. I'm basing that mainly on the primary molt (Broad-tailed molts on wintering grounds with primary molt generally Oct-Jan per Howell), apparent gorget color, and underpart color/pattern. An immature male Broad-tailed at this date would show cinnamon in the flanks and little or no color on the gorget.


a dingy, worn adult female Anna's, with little/no rose on gorget, perhaps a one-year-old bird?

Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae):

adult male...sadly this is all I have of this species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus):



adult male with gorget apparently more on the red side


female-type Broad-tailed

Apparent HYBRID hummingbird (Costa's x Lucifer???). While watching the feeders at Mary Jo's in Ash Canyon, I heard a singing Costa's Hummingbird. Upon tracking the bird down, I was surprised to see a bird that generally resembled a Costa's but had a noticeably long tail. It sang repeatedly while I was observing it.











Since it was singing a typical Costa's song the bird is obviously part Costa's...but its long tail, projecting well beyond the UTCs, tells us that this is no pure bird. Due to the poor quality of the photos, it is difficult to discern exact plumage details. Lucifer Hummingbird breeds nearby, and it makes one wonder if that is the other parent. The long tail with a slight fork supports that. The bill is a bit longish and slightly decurved, but this may be within range of Costa's?

Please feel free to comment on these identifications, particularly the age/sex of certain birds.

- Nick