Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Caught in the act!

I aimed my birdcam at a hum feeder in the backyard for a few days after I noticed I might have a new hummer... I could swear I saw a male Rufous/Allen's! Two of them spent the winter with me last year, but neither returned this year. On Sunday though, I saw a little rusty male fending the ladies of the backyard feeder. So I set up the camera hoping I'd catch a glimpse of him. No luck. But I do think I have at least 3 birds using that feeder.

The first one I seem to be sharing with my neighbors the Piersons. The bird is banded and was caught and marked in their yard this year. They live about 1/2 block a way (as the hum flies). Not sure at this point if she's new this year or was a returnee from another year. (click on each picture to see a larger version)

The second one is not marked, and you can see a dark spot on her back where the feathers are imperfect. Her coloring seems a little rustier overall.

The third one has a perfectly feathered back, no mark on her head, and she's very uniformly green.

It might also be possible to tell the birds apart from the front by looking at their gorgets but I don't know that I'd be able to match the fronts and backs of the birds!

I am going to put the camera up at one of my other feeders tomorrow to see if I can figure out if I have more birds. I've found one thing that helps is that I put scotch tape over the ports on the side of the feeder away from the camera so they can't hide from me!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another rare flycatcher in Louisiana!

so we went twitching today. Evidently in Britain when you chase a particular bird it's called "twitching". We chased after the Fork-Tailed Flycatcher that was found in south Louisiana. I'm not sure if it's the second record or the fourth record, but either way, it's a bird that does not belong here. It's native to either southern Mexico, Central America, or South America. Apparently this one got going the wrong way, found a bunch of other flycatchers to hang out with and is visiting us for a while. It was found with 17 Western Kingbirds and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Nice :-) Thanks to Winston, Karen, and Bob for making the twitching trip, and thanks especially to Bob for this nice photo.

Here's a video that shows the bird up close and personal

And some links to other pictures taken by Beth Wiggins