American Hummingbird ID query

Subject: American Hummingbird ID query
From: Carl Billingham <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 18:11:04 -0700 (PDT)

The photographs appear to be of the female and not of the male which are much 
brighter and therefore easier to identify.  Based on the assumption that the 
birds were photographed in California reduces the large number of hummingbirds 
it is 'likely' to be.  Anna's, Costa's, Black chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, 
Allen's and Rufous Hummingbirds are all found in California during the Summer 
(breeding) season.

Based on the rearward shot (photo 9) which shows a pale collar over the 
shoulders I think the Black-chinned Honeyeater is the most likely candidate.  
This species also has the most extensive breeding range of any western US 
hummingbird with the female raising the young (hence no photos of the male on 
the blog).   Also the wing tips project beyond the tail tip and it has a 
distinctive call discribed as a descending "tyew" or "tiup" in my guide books.

The female Costa's Hummingbird is difficult to distinguish from the 
Black-chinned but prefers drier conditions in the south of California, has a 
less defined white collar, the tail tip is shorter than the wingtips and has a 
different call.
Hope this helps,

Carl Billingham


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