Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Royal Catchfly in Waukesha County on August 2, 2017

The wildflowers are blooming away these days in the yard and every once in awhile a Ruby-throated Hummingbird puts on a show. They have not been seen often, but I did get a couple of shots yesterday of what I think is a juvenile on the Royal Catchfly. Images were taken on August 2, 2017.

Getting that nectar in the Royal Catchfly

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Anna’s Hummingbird continues day 42 in Wauwatosa Wisconsin on December 7, 2016

I got a email late morning from Jennifer the homeowner of the rare Anna’s Hummingbird that was reported in Wauwatosa the earlier part of November. It was still present today December 7th she said, wow! That would make at least 42 day there. Jennifer first saw the bird on October 27, 2016, it may have been there earlier as she was out of town before that. I stopped in for a few documentation photos for her today. I was there a short time mid afternoon. The bird was present the whole time I was there within 10-15 feet of the nectar feeders she has up. When not at the nectar feeder it perched on a couple of branches in a honeysuckle.  Amazing that it is still hanging around and no more flowers in her yard appeared to be blooming.  Jennifer is not taking any visitors at this time to view the bird. Once again, a big thank you to her for sharing this bird earlier in late November with the birding community when she could. It will be interesting if it hangs around with the very cold weather coming with minus temps. A mostly cloudy afternoon with temps below freezing with light winds. Images were taken on December 7, 2016.  UPDATE: The Anna’s Hummingbird was last seen on December 14, 2016. The Anna’s Hummingbird stayed at least 49 days in the Wauwatosa yard!

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Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

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This image shows the band on the leg, this bird was banded on November 14, 2016 in the yard

Wing stretch

Wing stretch

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A link to the earlier blog post of the Anna’s Hummingbird I put up when it first showed up in November 2016 if you care to view it:

Anna’s Hummingbird at Wauwatosa in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on November 15, 2016

Anna’s Hummingbird at Wauwatosa in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on November 15, 2016

I got an email from a friend Kathi R. that a Anna’s Hummingbird was visiting her friend Jennifer’s yard in Wauwatosa Wisconsin. This rare visiting bird is a young male. Jennifer wanted images of the bird and asked me to try for some. Jennifer for many reasons could not have the general public stopping over at this time. Now she has given permission for others to come see this stunning Anna’s Hummingbird 11/18/16. I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this and did not pass it up. Jennifer said she noticed the Anna’s Hummingbird in her yard going back to at least October 27, 2016, so who knows how long the bird has been there? This bird was banded on November 14, 2016 by Cynthia B along with her assistant Paula S. in Jennifer’s yard. I arrived the day after the banding on November 15 and the bird was present for most of the time I was there from 8am-1pm. The bird only hit the nectar feeders once in that period. Amazingly, Jennifer still had very many blooming plants in her yard for this bird to get nectar from. For the time I was there, the bird mostly perched on a telephone line or in a honeysuckle bush, preening and resting. It feed a few times on some flowering plants out of view, and a couple times in the more open. Jennifer considers herself a hummingbird, butterfly and bee enthusiast, her small yard is filled with plants and acts as an oases for hummingbirds in the fall, probably why the Anna’s Hummingbird is there, and hung around so long. All her hard work with habitat in her yard has paid off with the reward of an Anna’s Hummingbird! The morning started out foggy and then turned to cloudy skies with cool winds from the west for the duration of my visit. I did not see this bird in the sunlight, I bet it sparkles to no end! The normal range for this bird is west coast of the US, western Canada up into southern Alaska. 1 or 2 Anna’s seem to be seen here in Wisconsin every fall, but I am not sure on those numbers. Images were taken on November 15, 2016.

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Anna’s Hummingbird

Binomial name: Calypte anna

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 4″ long, 5.25” wingspan

Weight: 0.15 oz

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage in Waukesha County Wisconsin on September 16, 2016

We still have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. The hummers have favored the Scarlet Sage and Zinna plants for the most part but often frequent the nectar feeders too.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding a chick on the nest in Walworth County Wisconsin on September 4, 2016

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to photograph a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the nest feeding a chick and did not pass it up. Running into Anne Morretti out birding, she mentioned 2 of her birding friends Joann and Monica had an active bird nest. I followed the excitement of the event for a couple of weeks from the first moment of seeing a nest with a female sitting on it, the tiny beak from the chick above the nest, till the day the bird fledged. There was just one chick and the female was always hanging around of course. Once in awhile a male was seen, but I never saw it near the nest. To find a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest, you just have to be in the right place at the right time when an adult goes to the nest, and they were. The nests are just so tiny! A big thank you to Monica, Joann and Anne for sharing this event. A difficult event to photograph as lighting changed by the second, up in a dark tree and the branches were always moving so I apologize for any poor quality images as some I thought should be included in this post. I have put the images in order as the way they happened. Images were taken from August 22, 2016 thru September 4, 2016.

It all started here.......The female adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting on the nest...

It all started here…….The female adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting on the nest…

The nest, up in a large tree tree

The nest, up in a large tree is about 2″ across and 1″ deep

At this point, not even sure if there is a chick in the nest or and egg...

At this point, not even sure if there is a chick in the nest or an egg, is she just house cleaning?

She sits on the nest, and out comes a feather, still don't know if was laying in the nest from her or is off a chick?

She sits on the nest, and out comes a feather, still don’t know if the feather was laying in the nest from her earlier or is off a chick?

Then the moment, a beak is seen poking up from the nest...

Then the moment, a beak is seen poking up from the nest, it is a chick!

The chick is growing fast, there is "Mom"

The chick is growing fast, there is the female on the branch along with the chick in the nest, calling “Mom”!

Waiting for food

Waiting for food

The female lands on the nest with some food...

The female lands on the nest with some food…

The feeding begins

The feeding begins

The feeding continues...

The feeding continues…

The feeding continues...

The feeding continues down deep…

And they take a short break

The end of the first portion

And the take a short break

And they take a short break

And they start right up and the feeding continues

And they start right up and the feeding continues

And it contiues

And it continues down deep

End of the 2 part feeding which I saw often

End of the 2 part feeding which I saw often

Nothing goes to waste...

Nothing goes to waste…

pp

A very short rest after feeding, then the female leaves the nest till the next feeding that were running about 15-20 minutes apart

I will be back soon

I’m leaving for now

I will be back soon, chick in the back ground "Mom"!

I will be back soon, chick in the background “Mom”!

Female perches in a near by tree on a branch within sight of the nest for awhile typically after feeding the chick

Female perches in a near by tree on a branch within sight of the nest for awhile typically after feeding the chick

Spreading the wings and doing some fluttering, practicing up for the first flight out of the nest to a near by branch

Stretching those wings

Preening and working that tongue

Preening and working that tongue

Two birds in one nest, I think the female was trying to open the nest up more which is what they do as the chick grows

Two birds in one nest, I think the female was trying to open the nest up more which is what they do as the chick grows, the nest expands

Preening

Preening

Just about time to fly, but the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well now!

Spreading those wings…

Just about time to fly, but the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well now!

Just about time to fly, the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 31, 2016

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been hanging around the yard here this summer in Waukesha County. We have seen very little of them all summer but in just the last couple of days they have been hitting the Royal Catchfly, one of the many plants they get nectar from here in the yard. The male is seen less and I am still hoping for some shots of that beauty. I took a few minutes today to photograph the adult female in action. Images were taken on July 31, 2016.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Falling nectar

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin on June 16, 2016

With not much going on bird wise, I decided to make a run out to Wyalusing State Park to see what was going on. Bruce joined me for the day and we had a great time. Some of the species seen in the park were Cerulean Warbler, a life bird for me, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Dickcissels, Scarlet Tanager, Blue Indigo Buntings, American Bald Eagles, and very many Baltimore Orioles to name a few. The highlight of the day were the 30-40 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the 4 feeders at once at the visitor center at the park entrance. I have never seen more than a couple of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at once so seeing 30-40 at once was an amazing treat. One of the staff had noted that hummingbirds were recently banded and they had 4 birds that had returned from the previous year, how exciting! For the most park a cloudy day, the sun showed for a few minutes with nice mild temps. Images were taken on June 16, 2016.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female, blurry back view

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female, blurry back view

 

Anna’s Hummingbird in Jefferson County Wisconsin on November 15, 2015

I made the run out to Waterloo Wisconsin in Jefferson County with hopes to see the reported female Anna’s Hummingbird. When I arrived I had to wait for a while for the bird to show. It had been reported that it showed roughly every hour. It pretty much stayed on track for that for the couple of hours I stayed. It typically favored the feeder port of the hummingbird feeder that was against the house next to the pole which made it difficult for photos, but the bird gave great views! When it got the feeder it stayed there for the duration until it had what it wanted then left to the east. On one occasion I saw it leave and go into a arborvitae type tree to the east. From what I heard today, this was the 6th reported Anna’s for the state of Wisconsin. It was said the bird has been coming to the feeder for about a week, but it took that long to get it all figured out that it was a Anna’s and not a Ruby-throated. The pale white eye-ring and white behind the eyes determines it is a Anna’s. This bird was banded early this morning by Cynthia B, but it did not stop it from returning to one of the feeders in the yard all day long. Not my first Anna’s in the state as I got the stunning male last year in Sauk County Wisconsin on October 21, 2014. A big thank you to Duane and Kristen for allowing visitors to see the rare visitor to the state and being great hosts! Also, thanks to Tom P for getting the word out on this bird.

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Anna’s Hummingbird

Binomial name: Calypte anna

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 4″ long, 5.25” wingspan

Weight: 0.15 oz

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Link to images of the MALE Anna’s Hummingbird taken in Sauk County Wisconsin on October 21, 2014 if you care to view them:

http://www.windowtowildlife.com/annas-hummingbird-sauk-county-wisconsin-october-21-2014/

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Bottle Gentian in Waukesha County Wisconsin on September 5, 2015

At least 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. Bottle Gentian has been a favorite once again as it is in full bloom now. Still amazes me how their bill goes into the top, then inside so carefully for the nectar and the plant almost looks untouched. With Cardinal Flower and Zinnias still blooming those are also still flowers of choice. They are still going to the nectar feeders along with other wildflowers in the yard. Images were taken on September 5, 2015.

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

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Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage in Waukesha County Wisconsin on August 30, 2015

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. One of the plants they really enjoy is the Scarlet Sage. The stunning scarlet color and great nectar source make this plant a real hummer favorite. I took a few minutes today to photograph this adult female on a couple of the plants in action. Images were taken on August 30, 2015.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Cardinal Flower in Waukesha Wisconsin on August 9, 2015

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been hanging around the yard this summer and the Cardinal Flower is always a favorite for them. Today I took a few pictures to share some of the excitement. This bird is a female, correct me if I am wrong. Images were taken on August 9, 2015 in Waukesha County.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Rufous Hummingbird in Mayville Wisconsin on August 6, 2015

I made the trip up to Mayville Wisconsin with hopes to view the stunning male Rufous Hummingbird at the Herzmann’s residents. Amazingly, this is the second year for the same uncommon bird at this residents. It was banded last year, this years bird wearing the same number band. It showed about every 30-45 minutes today from about 6:30 am till 1:00 pm. It usually chased off other hummers after arriving at the feeder for nectar. This bird when finally at the feeder would typically feed for 4-5 seconds, back off a second, look around and go for more, usually 4-5 feeds. A big thank you to Liz and Matt Herzmann for allowing visitors to view this beautiful bird. I hope it hangs around for others to view. Will the bird return next year? With the nectar feeder under a tree, light was mixed and it made getting photos challenging. Images were taken on August 8, 2015.

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Rufous Hummingbird

Binomial name: Selasphorus rufus

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Primarily rust-colored feathers with a small patch of white on the chest.  Red-orange patch on throat.   Short wings and a slender, slightly sloping bill.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.18 oz

Habitat: Open broadleaf forests, orchards, meadows, parks, swamps, and yards

Natural Range: West Coast from Alaska to Mexico and Rocky Mountains, wintering in the Gulf Coast and Southeastern Atlantic states.  They are occasionally, although rarely, found in cold-weather areas such as the Midwest due to their surprising hardiness.

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and hummingbird feeders

Nesting: The males may mate with several females but do not care for the young.  The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub.  They favor either deciduous or coniferous trees such as spruce, cedar, maples, pines, birch, and hemlocks.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year and not necessarily by its previous occupant. The female will lay 2-3 eggs at a time, laying 1 brood per summer.  She incubates the eggs for 15-17 days, and the young remain in the nest for 15-19 days.

Notes: This high-strung bird is considered extremely aggressive and will chase other animals from feeders or its nest including larger birds, chipmunks, and even other hummingbirds.  Like other hummingbirds, Roufus Hummingbirds are adept flyers and can hover, dart, and perch with ease.  They have even been seen to pluck insects out of midair.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, subadult male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male subadult

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm in Waukesha County Wisconsin July 5, 2015

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been in the yard here since spring. I photographed this female early this afternoon in a bed of Red Bee Balm. This plant is a magnet for these birds. Images were taken on July 5, 2015.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Rufous Hummingbird at Black Earth Wisconsin October 26, 2014

Rufous Hummingbird, thought to be hatching year male. I received and email late morning from a friend in Black Earth Wisconsin who was pretty sure she had Rufous Hummingbird coming to her feeder. She sent me some great images and I thought I better check it out. I arrived around 1:30 pm. The bird came to the feeder within minutes after I arrived, I was hardly set up. The feeding was short and the bird feed on the opposite side of the feeder from where I was. I had notified Cynthia and she arrived a bit later. I the bird showed one more time briefly. We then had a good 2.5 hour lull with now bird. There was at least one other feeder at a neighbor’s house that Cynthia had spotted so who knows where the bird was hanging out. I got very few images of this bird. Thought to be confirming images to ID this bird were taken on October 27, 2014 by Kyle and Cynthia B. Thanks to Ann W. for contacting me about this bird. Hopefully the bird shows in the morning and continues for others to view. If the bird shows in the morning I will post Ann’s email address  and you can contact her. She is open to visitors to view this bird. It has been an exciting fall for me with vagrant hummingbirds as in the last 8 days I have viewed the 1- Anna’s, 3- Rufous. Images were taken on October 26, 2014 at Black Earth, Dane County Wisconsin.

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Rufous Hummingbird in Waukesha County Wisconsin on October 24, 2014

With a little sun this afternoon I decided to run out to Eagle in Waukesha County. I thought I would try for a couple more shots with some sun of the Rufous Hummingbird as I heard it is still being viewed. There was a small crowd of birders when I arrived. When I was there the Rufous was pretty consistent coming to the feeder. Those feedings were about every 25-30 minutes. When it showed, it gave nice views dipping into the feeder for nectar about 5 times, then off in a flash! Nobody ever really could follow to where it was perching. Birders came and went while I was there. Even though there have been a couple Rufous Hummingbirds in the last 2 years in the state, still a life bird for many that were present. All and all a beautiful day to be out birding with warm temps and nice sunshine. It was nice to see a few old birders and meet some new ones too. Thanks again to Danielle and Raef for being such nice hosts and allowing birders in to see this beauty on their property! Images were taken on October 24, 2014.

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Rufous Hummingbird

Binomial name: Selasphorus rufus

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Primarily rust-colored feathers with a small patch of white on the chest.  Red-orange patch on throat.   Short wings and a slender, slightly sloping bill.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.18 oz

Habitat: Open broadleaf forests, orchards, meadows, parks, swamps, and yards

Natural Range: West Coast from Alaska to Mexico and Rocky Mountains, wintering in the Gulf Coast and Southeastern Atlantic states.  They are occasionally, although rarely, found in cold-weather areas such as the Midwest due to their surprising hardiness.

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and hummingbird feeders

Nesting: The males may mate with several females but do not care for the young.  The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub.  They favor either deciduous or coniferous trees such as spruce, cedar, maples, pines, birch, and hemlocks.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year and not necessarily by its previous occupant. The female will lay 2-3 eggs at a time, laying 1 brood per summer.  She incubates the eggs for 15-17 days, and the young remain in the nest for 15-19 days.

Notes: This high-strung bird is considered extremely aggressive and will chase other animals from feeders or its nest including larger birds, chipmunks, and even other hummingbirds.  Like other hummingbirds, Roufus Hummingbirds are adept flyers and can hover, dart, and perch with ease.  They have even been seen to pluck insects out of midair.

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Rufous Hummingbird in Waukesha County Wisconsin on October 23, 2014

This afternoon I received a message from a friend in Eagle Wisconsin that said she had a hummingbird coming to her feeder this morning that she did not recognize. She thought possible Rufous. I headed out there and Anne Morretti was right behind me when I arrived. She also heard the news.  The bird was there moments after we arrived on a feeder. She said she was just going to take the feeder down last Sunday but it had got put off. Danielle and Raef the property owners were anxious to find out what exact species this was. We took some photos as the sky turned grey and later rained pretty good. The Rufous continued to feed during the rain. We are assuming at this point it is a Rufous Hummingbird. I posted many images of the bird in hopes that we can ID it 100%. If anyone can call this bird something else or can find the marks to confirm it’s ID as a Rufous please let us know. I have seriously not studied the bird images yet myself as wanting to get the post up. The property owners are willing to let others in to view this beautiful bird well out it normal range. A big thank you to Danielle and Raef for getting the word out on this bird and letting others in to view it. They also had a beautiful leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird visit them last year, 2013 for a few days. 2 incredible birds coming to one residence.  I have included an image from that event at the bottom of these images. The Rufous Hummingbird images were taken on October 23, 2014. It was another exciting birding day with 3 vagrants in just 5 days! (I have recently added an image at the bottom here of the best tail spread I have. Is it enough to confirm this bird as a Rufous)?

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Rufous Hummingbird

Binomial name: Selasphorus rufus

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Primarily rust-colored feathers with a small patch of white on the chest.  Red-orange patch on throat.   Short wings and a slender, slightly sloping bill.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.18 oz

Habitat: Open broadleaf forests, orchards, meadows, parks, swamps, and yards

Natural Range: West Coast from Alaska to Mexico and Rocky Mountains, wintering in the Gulf Coast and Southeastern Atlantic states.  They are occasionally, although rarely, found in cold-weather areas such as the Midwest due to their surprising hardiness.

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and hummingbird feeders

Nesting: The males may mate with several females but do not care for the young.  The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub.  They favor either deciduous or coniferous trees such as spruce, cedar, maples, pines, birch, and hemlocks.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year and not necessarily by its previous occupant. The female will lay 2-3 eggs at a time, laying 1 brood per summer.  She incubates the eggs for 15-17 days, and the young remain in the nest for 15-19 days.

Notes: This high-strung bird is considered extremely aggressive and will chase other animals from feeders or its nest including larger birds, chipmunks, and even other hummingbirds.  Like other hummingbirds, Roufus Hummingbirds are adept flyers and can hover, dart, and perch with ease.  They have even been seen to pluck insects out of midair.

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Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Best tail spread I could come up with, is it enough to confrim this bird as a Rufous)?

Best tail spread I could come up with, is it enough to confirm this bird as a Rufous?

Anna’s Hummingbird in Sauk County Wisconsin on October 21, 2014

I made a run up to Sauk Co. with Cynthia this morning with hopes to see the very rare visiting bird to the state, the Anna’s Hummingbird. From what I heard this western bird, will be the 5th ever recorded bird in the state of Wisconsin. As we arrived, Chris was waiting, standing there, not looking happy as he said, I have been here for 1 hour and I have not seen the bird. In only seconds the sound of the hummer was present. We had not even had our cameras out of our bags and it was on the feeder. We had a very big laugh! The bird was on and off all morning with some long periods in between feedings. It perched high, it perched low, it perched out of sight. This bird put on I think the biggest show ever of all the years I have been birding being so photogenic. The colors on the bird were so stunning from one moment to the next as it’s position changed perched, colors I have never saw on a bird. All and all a very exciting day! It is a life bird for me! It was nice to see some birders too that I have not ran across in a while like Daryl, Chris and others. A very big thank you to the host Linda who allowed us all to come on to her property to see this bird and all the special goodies she provided making us feel so welcome. I hope the bird continues for others to see.

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Anna’s Hummingbird

Binomial name: Calypte anna

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 4″ long, 5.25” wingspan

Weight: 0.15 oz

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Rufous Hummingbird at Ft. Atkinson Wisconsin on October 19, 2014

I had a couple extra hours  today so I decided to make a run out to Ft. Atkinson in Jefferson County to see if the Rufous Hummingbird was still hanging around. It had been reported late morning so I thought I would give it a shot. The bird was present when I arrived and seemed to hang out in one specific tree in the yard each time after feeding. It gave nice views. On Monday when I view this bird it was out of sight after each feeding in a large spruce tree. It was well worth the trip. Also on tap was banding this bird. I have never viewed banding a bird so I thought it it was a great opportunity. On a second attempt they got the bird and banded. I was amazed at how fast the banding went and how professionally it was done. The bander Mickey and her assistant Jane made the job look like had been done 1 million times by them. Great job! Also present was Cynthia and Scott. It was nice to catch up on birding talk with them in the waiting time for the Rufous Hummingbird to appear. A big thank you to Cynthia for letting folks in to view this beautiful bird in her yard. I have included some images too of the banding that took place. Images were taken on October 19, 2014.

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Rufous Hummingbird

Binomial name: Selasphorus rufus

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Primarily rust-colored feathers with a small patch of white on the chest.  Red-orange patch on throat.   Short wings and a slender, slightly sloping bill.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.18 oz

Habitat: Open broadleaf forests, orchards, meadows, parks, swamps, and yards

Natural Range: West Coast from Alaska to Mexico and Rocky Mountains, wintering in the Gulf Coast and Southeastern Atlantic states.  They are occasionally, although rarely, found in cold-weather areas such as the Midwest due to their surprising hardiness.

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and hummingbird feeders

Nesting: The males may mate with several females but do not care for the young.  The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub.  They favor either deciduous or coniferous trees such as spruce, cedar, maples, pines, birch, and hemlocks.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year and not necessarily by its previous occupant. The female will lay 2-3 eggs at a time, laying 1 brood per summer.  She incubates the eggs for 15-17 days, and the young remain in the nest for 15-19 days.

Notes: This high-strung bird is considered extremely aggressive and will chase other animals from feeders or its nest including larger birds, chipmunks, and even other hummingbirds.  Like other hummingbirds, Roufus Hummingbirds are adept flyers and can hover, dart, and perch with ease.  They have even been seen to pluck insects out of midair.

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Time to fly free!

 

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the Bottle Gentian September 10, 2014

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been visiting the Bottle Gentian plants here. It is amazing how they go for the nectar in these wildflowers. In some situations they probe into the side of the blooms with their bill. At other times they go in from the top with their bill. In my observations, if one method is not possible, they go the other method. They have entered both ways on the bloom clusters weather the blooms are on the inside or outside in the cluster. We have had 3 Rudy-throated Hummingbirds, female, male and a young male, all 3 have hit these Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii plants. Images were taken in Waukesha Wisconsin September 6-10, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Waukesha Wisconsin September 4, 2014

Some recent images taken in Waukesha Wisconsin of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on various plants. Images show a young male and adult female on the flower species Cardinal Flower, Yellow Giant Hyssop and Zinnia’s. Images were taken August 24 through September 4, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species with flying nectar!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female over Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female