Friday, April 13, 2018

A First Sighting (for me) on the Tuolumne: A Rufous Hummingbird

I had quite a surprise the other day on my walk along the Tuolumne River. It was a Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), a bird I have probably never seen before (the confusion of that statement is explained in this post). This incredibly beautiful hummingbird does not stay in our area year-round. We instead are on their migration route to Alaska, so they only pass through the region in the spring and fall. They breed farther north than any other hummingbird species.
I usually have to look pretty closely to identify hummingbirds, but the Rufous is hard to miss. I was watching several Anna's Hummingbirds in the flowering shrubs, and the bright orange-brown color of this male really stood out. It cooperated by remaining relatively still for a couple of minutes until I got tired of snapping pictures.

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