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7370Record late Rufous Hummingbird - Garfield County

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  • Steve Bouricius
    Dec 14, 2012
    Hello Western Slope Birders,

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife received a call about a hummingbird using a
    feeder in Battlement Mesa/Parachute. This morning, with snow lightly
    falling, I set traps at the water plant adjacent to the Colorado River.
    It took a little patience, but before long I had in hand a hatch year
    female Rufous Hummingbird. She is in healthy condition, weighing a
    hearty 4.4 grams. That she is carrying excess fat deposits suggests
    she could migrate on. However, Kathy Miller, the lab tech at the plant
    who has been maintaining the feeders said the bird showed up about
    October 23, after all other hummers had left.

    We set up an additional feeder with a red warming lamp to keep the sugar
    water thawed, and the bird is returning to feed. The area along the
    river gets very cold at night but the riparian vegetation and
    surrounding sage harbors flying insects throughout the day. I expect
    the hummingbird will do fine. It will be interesting to see how long
    she stays.

    According to The Birds of Western Colorado and Colorado Birds, the
    latest date recorded for Rufous Hummingbird in Colorado is October
    25th. If anyone learns of late fall or winter hummingbirds, I would
    appreciate an opportunity to check them out. Many thanks to Kathy
    Miller and the other good folks at the Battlement Mesa Water Plant for
    their hospitality.

    Steve Bouricius

    Steve & Debbie Bouricius
    3412 C Road
    Palisade, Colorado 81526
    Hummingbird Orchards Banding and Research Station
    Peaceful Valley Field Station
    USGS Bird Banding Laboratory master permit #23198
    CPW Scientific Collections permit #12BD834
    NABC certified hummingbird banders/trainers