07 May 2012

No Hummer Bummer

At last light on May 6, a tiny hummer came into the feeders here at home.  When these tiny things fly in, they look like ants playing Quidditch amongst a bunch of locusts.  Anna's Hummingbirds are the most common here at home and they're GIANTS, relatively speaking.  After seeing the giants knock about for long enough, a subtle change in hummingbird size really jumps out at you. 

I snapped a series of pictures but didn't have time to make any adjustments for the low light levels.  SO, I ended up with a series of seemingly black photos.  Nice one.

In editing the photos, however, I cranked up the brightness and shadow reduction and was able to make out... well, that it's a hummingbird:

I thought it was probably a CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD based on size alone but didn't think the photos were good enough to prove anything.  Well, in fact, take a look at the length of the folded wings.  They come right up to the tail (and maybe extend past it a tiny bit).  That field mark eliminates all the Selasphorus species in addition to Broad-tailed.  That leaves me with, yep, a female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD.

This morning, again in extremely low light, the bird returned and I managed a couple more crap photos:

So, with yesterday and today in the books, that makes for 5 days this spring that my feeders have hosted a CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD.  Pretty cool for such an urban yard and a species that is flagged as a rarity here in Sacramento County....