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I have to respectfully disagree with Troy that these pictures are not
completely conclusive. This is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Note the
forked tailed.... No other hummingbird will show this combination of a
forked tail and red throat.  Rufous/Allens have a rounded tail which
looks pointed when it is sitting.  This fellow looks like a big ole
fish.   Yes it is a bit smudgy on the front, nothing at all to worry
about at this time of the year.

Roger McNeill
KC MO

-----Original Message-----
From: Gordon, Michael T. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2003 3:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Ruby-throated Hummingbird or Rufous Hummingbird


This is one of those situations where a picture is not necessarily worth
a thousand words.  The pictures help, of course, but they are not
definitive.  I think I need a bit more description to make up my mind.

Angie, you've said that the throat (i.e., gorget) is more of an
rusty-orange then the normal red of a ruby-throated hummingbird,
correct?  You've also described him as being more aggressive then
normal.

Can you please describe if there is any rufous color in the sides
(beneath the wing area) and in the tail?  Picture two seems to have some
rufous coloration at the sides, but I can't tell for sure if the color
is accurate or if it is just an artifact of the lighting.  Picture 1
seems to have coloration in the tail at the edges, but it could be
feather wear or lighting.  On the tail, I'm especially interested in
coloration at the base of the tail, rather then at the outer edge.

I'm thinking it is quite likely that this is a Selasphorus male (either
Rufous or Allen's, but probably Rufous based on range), but I'm not at
all comfortable with a final declaration without more of a written
description.

Many Rufous males will develop the rufous coloration over their back,
but not all do, and the amount of rufous is known to increase with age.
If this bird is only a second year bird (i.e., hatched last year), it
could explain the mostly green back that is evident.

On the other hand, Ruby-throated hummingbirds may have some coloration
on the sides as well.  It is usually most noticeable in young birds, but
adults may have some as well.  Usually it is more peach colored then the
reddish-rufous that a Rufous hummingbird will have, but there is quite a
bit of individual variation.

If I sound like I'm equivocating, I am!  I'm just not sure on this bird
without more info.

But, this is a good time to remind everyone that this is the season to
start looking for unusual looking birds mixed in with the hordes of
hummingbirds at feeders right now!  Look for the rufous on the sides
and/or tail.  Watch for abnormally large (or small) size, unusually long
(or short) bill length, etc.  Those of you with good hearing (not me)
can listen for differences in the humming of the wings and of calls.
More info on Missouri's documented hummingbirds is available at my web
site at:  http://www.missouri.edu/~gordonm/mohummers.htm.  I'm
interested in all reports of non-Ruby-throated hummingbirds in Missouri,
no matter how uncertain you are as part of the research I am doing.

Troy Gordon
Columbia, MO
[log in to unmask]
H (573) 445-0086
W (573) 882-0076
http://www.missouri.edu/~gordonm/banding.htm


-----Original Message-----
From: MO Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
Patrick Harrison
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2003 1:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Ruby-throated Hummingbird or Rufous Hummingbird


Angie Brown gave me permission to share these pictures with all.

Here's a link to them.

http://www.patrickdharrison.com/Birding/hummer.htm

What is your opinion? Feel free to respond to me on or off list.

Patrick


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