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8915Calliope Hummingbird

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  • Steve Bouricius
    May 11, 2014
    The heavy rain today kept our sugar water feeders busy with many Black-chinned Hummingbirds,a few Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, and Bullock's Orioles. We currently have 14 feeders out. This evening, May 11, at 6:13 p.m., we watched an adult male Calliope Hummingbird come to a feeder four feet from our front windows. The bird is still feeding here at 8:15, almost dark.

    This is the first spring Calliope we've seen in Colorado. I believe this bird, like the Rufous Hummingbird reported in Durango by Heather Morris on May 8, is a northbound migrant. Their occurrence in CO during spring is pretty rare. We suspect that some of the Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds that pass through CO in spring are birds that have wintered in the southeast US, rather than Mexico. Many of our colleagues in the east and southeast states work throughout the winter to document and band western hummingbird species. They do remarkable work and probably band a good percentage of the western hummers wintering there. I think this increases the chance that spring Rufous and Calliope in CO will be wearing a band. We hope all will carefully look for leg bands on hummingbirds and report them as soon as possible. The information gained from verifying band numbers can provide a valuable piece in the puzzle of western hummingbird migration.

    Steve Bouricius

    Steve & Debbie Bouricius
    3412 C Road
    Palisade, CO 81526
    (970) 434-5918
    Hummingbird Orchards Banding and Research Station
    Peaceful Valley Field Station
    NABC Certified Master Banders-Trainers
    USGS Bird Banding Laboratory permit #23198
    CPW Scientific Collections permit #14BD834
    AZGFD Scientific Collections permit #SP562523CLS
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