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First Selasphorus sighting

September 11 2017 at 7:14 PM

Nathan  (Login nmotz06)
Hummingbird lover 2013

Probably have seen hundreds of Ruby-throats pass through my yard over the last month or so but today I finally saw a Selasphorus sp. in my yard this afternoon. It's an immature male by the looks of him. I got a huge bump in numbers today just as I was thinking that things were winding down. Consumption had fallen from almost 50 oz/day to around 30 oz/day since maybe Friday. The number of birds was noticeably thinning out too, but things changed today.

Had to hang a 5th feeder and there are dozens of mostly immature birds flying around everywhere including one that has claimed my entire flower bed. He hasn't used any feeder at all and instead nectars heavily from Bee Balm, Salvias, Shrimp Plant, and even the Manettia Cordifolia that the other birds ignore. I have actually never seen a bird that wouldn't use feeders before so I took some pictures of him that I'll have to post at some point. I like him, he sits on my tomato cage and watches the other birds that fight over the feeder while he guards the flowers.
Nathan Motz
Deridder, Louisiana

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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: First Selasphorus sighting

September 12 2017, 7:56 AM 

Nice, there have been one or two adults in NJ in the past few weeks. There are still a few Ruby-throated up here but numbers have fallen fast which is only to be expected. There are a few fork-tailed young birds around the garden who most likely fledged very recently.

Nancy Newfield
(Login humband1)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: First Selasphorus sighting

September 12 2017, 1:16 PM 

Congrats, Nathan,

by my assessment, for the southeastern part of Louisiana, peak Ruby-throated Hummingbird movement is generally around the second to the third week of September and it drops off sharply after that. I have been away and otherwise preoccupied for much of September, so banding chores have fallen on my assistants, only one of whom is permitted to band.

At my place, I have been running 3 to 5 feeders since returning from Florida in July. Since then, I have observed only 3 or 4 individuals to make use of the feeders. Mostly, these transients are enjoying the natural nectar of red Firespike [Odontonema strictum], Salvia 'Phyllis's Fancy', Ugly Shrimp Plant [Justicia brandegeena], Canna [Canna indica], and Baja Fairy Duster [Calliandra californica], Turk's Cap [Malvaviscus drummondii] and the two little flowered morning glories [Ipomoea hederifolia] and [Ipomoea hederifolia var luteola]. There are usually several clouds of tiny flying insects and the birds can sometimes be observed to dance around snatching the little bugs from the air.

On Saturday, our team banded at the Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration in scenic St Francisville. We handled 45 individuals [will add breakdown by age and sex when I get the data sheets from our recorder]. Around 400 interested observers visited the site. Here is a video made by one of our guests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udF2cNjQ9IE&feature=youtu.be

On Sunday, we banded at our regular site in Covington, where there were perhaps 25 invited guests, and we caught 44 birds: 8 adult males + 7 adult females + 19 immature males + 10 immature females, plus an estimated 16 that we did not catch.

Tomorrow, I will be working with another bander to demonstrate what we do for a university wildlife management class.

So far, I have not seen any other species though a few of our sites have reported probable returnee Rufous and Buff-bellieds. I look forward to September - and I dread it, too. Edited in: I've gotten 2 reports of Rufous Hummingbirds since I originally posted this message!
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, LA USA
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This message has been edited by humband1 on Sep 12, 2017 2:42 PM

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