Friday, March 25, 2011

Violet-Crowned Hummingbird causes stir!

Look closely! Photo by Elissa Fazio-Rhicard, 3/23/11
Fred Heath reported seeing a Violet-Crowned Hummingbird in Sabino Canyon on Tuesday, 3/22/11. Elissa (one of the very few hummingbird banders in the universe) headed out with camera in hand and captured this bird in a bush. (Okay, it looks like a willow.) She writes: I don't think there's ever been a Violet Crowned reported in Sabino before but I couldn't say for sure. It's really a beautiful bird - one of the only hummers that male and female look exactly alike. Even when we band them, unless a female is in breeding condition (swollen abdomen or egg present), we can't tell the sex. It's possible that this species could breed in Sabino but that would mean there would have to be another and odds don't seem good for that.
Anne says: Bandings in Sabino are at sunrise plus 5 hours every other Saturday, through and including October 15th. The next banding session is April 2nd, sunrise is 6:11. This is one of those MUST EXPERIENCE events. So set your alarm and get out there by 7:30 for you best chance of seeing hummingbirds up close and personal.  The easiest way to get to the banding site is to take the road to the Bluff trail, take the Bluff trail to the end, and walk on the wide path until you see Elissa's car and sign.

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