About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest Blogger Chuck: Rare Bird Sighting


I'm not a blogger but I need to tell you about something that happened last evening that I've not experienced at my house ever before.

I was eating my supper at about 6 p.m. and something outside the window caught my attention. Just as I looked over to give it my full attention it seemed as if two hummingbirds zipped away the way they do all summer long in the same location. I decided it must have been a couple of sparrows or finches and went back to my meal. A minute later the motion was back at the window and this time I looked to see the hummer hovering between the Fusia and Geranium plants that are still blooming on our front porch.

I haven't seen a hummer since the second week in Sept. and my resident birds left back on Labor Day week-end! I've NEVER seen hummingbirds anywhere near this late, even in warm years. WHAT WERE THESE BIRDS THINKING
?? It's cold!!! C

Over here at the East Lansing, MI Wild Birds Unlimited shop we’ve actually had several "eagle eye" customers reporting late hummers. It’s not unheard of for Ruby-throated hummingbirds to stay until the end of October but I want to throw out the possibility that you might have seen Rufous Hummingbirds.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common hummingbird in Michigan. However, the Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus is the most widely-distributed hummingbird in North America and a few have been documented in Michigan late into November. They winter in Mexico but these feisty birds can survive in extremely cold temperatures if there is food available. Click HERE for a photo of a Rufous in the snow.

Thanks for the contribution Chuck! If anyone else would like to write about their observations feel free to email them to bloubird@gmail.com.

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