Friday, July 27, 2012

Southwest Hummingbirds Part 1: Black-chinned

A pair of Black-chinned Hummingbirds - male (left) and female (right), San Pedro Riparian NCA, 4/10/2012.
Where I live in Rockford, IL, we are pretty much restricted to seeing one type of Hummingbird - the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Photo at the bottom of the page). But the Western U.S. can brag of having a dozen types living within their States in one season or another. They can add another three rare visitors from Mexico that show up across the border from time to time for a total of 15 possible Hummingbirds to see.
Western Hummingbirds: Broad-Billed*, Violet-crowned, Blue-throated, Magnificent*, Lucifer, Black-chinned*, Anna's*, Costa's*, Calliope, Broad-tailed*, Rufous*, and Allen's*.
Rare Mexican Visitors: White-eared, Berryline, Plain-capped Starthroat.
Of the 13 hummingbirds found in the U.S., I have been lucky enough to see 9 of them (marked with an *), including the Red-throated from the East. Only 4 more to find. I have aslo been lucky enough to see two while in Mexico:  Cavinet's Emerald, and the Buff-bellied, for a total of 11 hummingbirds.
A male Black-chinned Hummingbird, Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ; 4/8/2012.
Last Spring while I was in Arizona for my Spring Break, I came across one of the more common Western Hummers, the Black-chinned Hummingbirds in many of the places I birded: San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and Ramsey Canyon (Sierra Vista) (Below),  Sonoran Desert Museum and Sabino Canyon (Tucson) (Above), and Phoenix Botanical Gardens, Riparian Preserve (Gilbert).
A male Black-chinned Hummingbird, Ramsey Canyon, Sierra Vista, AZ; 4/9/2012.
In the summer, one can find Blackichinned Hummers from Texas in the East stretching all the way to the Northwest corner of Washington State as well as into British Columbia.
A female Black Chinned Hummingbird at the feeders of Ramsey Canyon Nature Conservatory, Sierra Vista, AZ; 4/9/2012.
 In the photos of the female (Above and Below) you can see the tongue hanging sticking out, no doubt in anticipation of the fine nectar it will find in the hummer feeders of the Ramsey Canyon Nature Conservatory.
Another female Black-chinned Hummingbird at the feeders of Ramsey Canyon Nature Conservatory, Sierra Vista, AZ; 4/9/2012.

Val's photo of a female Black-chinned HB, Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ; 12/27/2009
A male Black-chinned HB sipping the nectar of  the flowers of Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ; 4/8/2012.
The Hummingbird (Above) is a different one from the Black-chin (two pics from the top), because this one has a band on its left leg, whereas the other one does not. Both of these hummers were cooperating by taking turns feeding off the orange desert flowers.

A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Paris, TX; 6/22/2011.
(Above) is a photo of the only Hummer found in the eastern half of the U.S., the Ruby-throated.

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