[Tweeters] Abundance of Rufous Hummers

Gary or Diana Cummins casacummins at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 9 20:46:30 PDT 2009


I'll join in with others noting a lot of Rufous hummers this spring. We're
about seven miles SE of Port Townsend on Highway 20 and about 150 feet above
Discovery Bay. Last year we had perhaps three Rufous hummers that were
regulars - a couple of males and one female. This year, We've seen as many
as six around one feeder frantically battling one another - although its
been our observation that the female always gets a free pass. Also, this
year, these hummers are fearless. When I refill out four feeders (now, up
to twice a day), they land on them and begin feeding before I can hang them
up. One even perched for a couple of moments on my shoulder while four
others fed from the feeder I was hanging up.
We've seen two examples of the Rufous courtship aerobatic display so far.
Finally,the Anna's we had during the winter meanwhile has disappeared.

Gary Cummins
Port Townsend
casacummins at yahoo.com


On 4/9/09 12:01 PM, "tweeters-request at mailman2.u.washington.edu"
<tweeters-request at mailman2.u.washington.edu> wrote:


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> Today's Topics:

>

> 1. Re: Calliope Hummer in Thurston Co. (Dennis Paulson)

> 2. from the Skagit... (Barbara Deihl)

> 3. re: hummer activity and beach survey (Dianna Moore)

> 4. Montlake Fill map (Megan M. Matthews)

> 5. Fill today (Connie Sidles)

> 6. Bottle Beach, Westport and Tokeland (Joseph V Higbee)

> 7. Abundance of Rufous Hummers (Aldrich, David L)

> 8. museum birds, mystery birds (links) (Devorah Bennu)

> 9. Re: lake levels (Josh Hayes)

> 10. ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER Carkeek (Anya Illes)

> 11. One last walk at Wylie (Joel Brady-Power)

> 12. Hummingbird Question (Rolan Nelson)

> 13. Carkeek park and Montlake Fill (Tristan Higgins)

> 14. S King County (Lynn & Carol Schulz)

> 15. Tuesday at JBP (travelGirl)

> 16. Nisqually NWR 4/8/09 (Scrubjay323 at aol.com)

> 17. Aruba birding tips (JERRY D AND MARCENE D'ADDIO)

> 18. Osprey/Goslings (Kathy Andrich)

> 19. Umptanum Road to Wenas CG (hughbirder at earthlink.net)

> 20. Late Posting: Othello Sandhill Crane Festival Photos

> (Ilene Samowitz)

> 21. Vaux's Happening 09 1st (Larry Schwitters)

> 22. Ridgefield NWR Comment Deadline is April 10 (Will Clemons)

> 23. Rufous and Annas pix ... (Lyn Topinka)

> 24. Rufous tongue ... (Lyn Topinka)

> 25. Duwamish Clark's Grebe Still Present (Guy McWethy)

>

>

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------

>

> Message: 1

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:00:48 -0700

> From: Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net>

> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Calliope Hummer in Thurston Co.

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID: <9EFAD0CE-62BD-45B0-9D84-10B5F529E717 at comcast.net>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Bill,

>

> My two sightings of Calliope Hummingbirds in our yard in Seattle were

> on 18 April 1993 and 18-21 May 1995.

>

> Dennis

>

>

> On Apr 8, 2009, at 12:00 PM, tweeters-

> request at mailman2.u.washington.edu wrote:

>

>> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 12:41:51 +0000

>> From: bill shelmerdine <georn1 at hotmail.com>

>> Subject: [Tweeters] Calliope Hummer in Thurston Co.

>> To: tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

>> Message-ID: <BLU128-W3030DE62B7D64754E6EA78F820 at phx.gbl>

>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"

>>

>>

>> Hello All,

>>

>> Yesterday evening I had a most unexpected visitor at our

>> hummungbird feeder. A male Calliope was with the swarms of Rufus

>> Hummers attending our feeder yesterday. This is about 3 weeks

>> earlier than any previous Calliope record that I know of for the

>> county, don't know about other west-side records. And by the way,

>> when I said swarms, I mean there is a remarkable amount of

>> hummingbird activity at our place right now with a notable increase

>> occurring this past Sunday. There are at least 8 (probably more)

>> Rufus and 2 to 4 Anna's jockying for position. One of the Rufus

>> was a green-backed male. This amount of activity is very unusual

>> for our place, where normally activity maxes out with 2 pairs of

>> Rufus or so. Interestingly I noted 9 male Rufus on territory when

>> I walked around Nisqually a week or two ago and thought at the time

>> that was an unusual number. Has anyone else out there noticed

>> unusual numbers of Rufus Hummers around? Anyway... Keep looking,

>> there is just too!

>> much cool stuff happening out there right now!

>>

>> Good Birding,

>>

>> Bill Shelmerdine

>>

>> Olympia

>

> -----

> Dennis Paulson

> 1724 NE 98 St.

> Seattle, WA 98115

> 206-528-1382

> dennispaulson at comcast.net

>

>

>

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>

> Message: 2

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:01:58 -0700

> From: Barbara Deihl <barbdeihl at comcast.net>

> Subject: [Tweeters] from the Skagit...

> To: Tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID: <C50BD82E-93CE-4500-9DAA-E79F744794BE at comcast.net>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

>

> Spent from 2-8:30 ambling around on Fir Island yesterday and focused

> in on just a few birds:

>

> GREAT-HORNED OWL - Wylie Road parking lot - female still on nest

>

> SHORT-EARED OWL - Dike at end of Rawlins Rd. - saw none at 4 p.m.,

> but saw 2 hunting and going after a NORTHERN HARRIER when I came back

> at 7:30 p.m. - when an owl caught a rodent and was about to eat it,

> the harrier swooped down and grabbed it for herself - saw the owls out

> through sunset, which was, I might add, breathtakingly brilliant.

>

> I wish to thank the 2 men I encountered who shared some nice info and

> conversation for a bit at both sites - thanks to Fred (retired

> forester) and Kevin (professional photographer) for enhancing the

> day's experiences.

>

> I did get photos of the owls and the harrier, but they are not

> professional, yet they get the point across. If you'd like to see

> any, I can attach them to an email if you contact me offlist. :-)

>

> What a fine day it was in a relaxing setting (except for the skeet

> shooting, the Whidbey fighter jets and a few too many dogs (at the

> Rawlins Road site). The paucity of visible and audible birds didn't

> matter a hoot!

>

>

> Barb Deihl

>

> North Matthews Beach - Seattle

>

> barbdeihl at comcast.net

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 3

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:13:08 -0700

> From: "Dianna Moore" <dlmoor2 at coastaccess.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] re: hummer activity and beach survey

> To: <Tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID:

> <mailman.10.1239303661.14927.tweeters at mailman2.u.washington.edu>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Hi Tweets:

>

> I too have noticed an increase in the Rufous activity in particular on my

> own feeders. I now have two half-cylinder feeders (two ports each) with

> suction cups...one on the upstairs dining room window facing NE and one on

> the front bedroom window, and a hanging four-port feeder about ten feet from

> the bedroom window feeder, both facing SW. All three feeders are busy nearly

> all day long. As near as I can tell, I have two pairs of Anna's that are my

> year-round residents, and about eight male Rufous and two females...that I

> can count. It really gets crazy near dark when everyone wants to tank up

> before bed.

>

> This morning I accompanied Dan Varland on a raptor survey out of Ocean

> Shores, with at least nine Bald Eagles...someone had dumped some fish heads

> near the Ocean City approach and there were a few dead gulls too. But we

> also saw only our second Merlin since last September, a dark Taiga bird,

> perched on a root wad. It went hunting, unsuccessfully, then headed south.

> We saw four Whimbrel that we flushed off the sand before seeing them. They

> then headed north up Conner Creek towards the mouth. For those of you

> familiar with this creek and its northward wandering, it has retreated south

> a few hundred feet and is eating at the south bank.

>

> Dianna Moore

> Ocean Shores, Wa.

> dlmoor2 at coastaccess.com

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 4

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:15:21 -0700

> From: "Megan M. Matthews" <gavigan at u.washington.edu>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Montlake Fill map

> To: "tweeters at u.washington.edu" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID:

>

<77749EF84996E74A940BDEC97DB10E1503E03F610B at sdc-mbx-01.exchange.washington.edu>

>

>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Hi Tweets,

>

> Just a friendly reminder that there's an UBNA map available for your viewing

> pleasure here (as JPEG:

> http://depts.washington.edu/urbhort/html/info/UBNAmap.jpg) or here (as PDF:

> http://depts.washington.edu/urbhort/html/info/UBNAmap.pdf).

>

> Happy birding!

>

> Meg Matthews

> Communications Specialist

> Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

> UW Botanic Gardens

> 206-543-2608

> gavigan at u dot washington dot edu

> ________________________________________

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 5

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:38:17 -0700

> From: Connie Sidles <constancesidles at gmail.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Fill today

> To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <5B77973E-AA83-4FF5-9197-A73EED3AB908 at gmail.com>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

>

> Hey tweets, I have often felt that the birds at the Fill don't really

> conform to the standard operating procedures of birds elsewhere, at

> least when it comes to early rising. Fill birds tend to like to sleep

> in. The dawn chorus for them might more properly be called a brunch

> chorus.

>

> This was certainly true today. I got down there shortly after dawn,

> although the sky was so dark, who could really tell? A few of the

> regulars were out and about: some ambitious Yellow-rumped Warblers, a

> couple of oversexed Spotted Towhees, and the like. The Cliff Swallows

> that have been around for a few days now decided not to greet this day

> at all; they were not to be found.

>

> So there I was, sitting like Patience on the Rock - or in my case, on

> the camp stool - waiting for something to happen and wishing that I

> had returned to my five-layer-winter-clothing plan rather than my more

> optimistic two-layer-spring-is-here-look. Finally, something did

> happen. Around 11:00 a.m. Doug Parrott came hurrying up with his

> camera, saying he wanted to show me something. I have to confess I

> have come to dread these little visits from Doug. They always mean

> that he has found a great bird that I will then spend hours

> fruitlessly looking for. The last time he did this to me was when he

> found a Bonaparte's Gull on the Main Pond, the first Bonaparte's at

> the Fill in perhaps 15 years. After he showed me the picture, I

> scurried as fast as I could go to the pond, but alas, it was gull-

> less. Today, Doug's find was a California Quail. He took a glorious

> picture of it perched spang out in the open on the "Reading Rock"

> southeast of the Main Pond. I immediately ditched my husband, who had

> walked out to share a quiet, romantic moment with me, and hurried off.

> I could hear John explaining to Doug, as my slipstream buffeted them,

> that I was a goner for at least the next hour.

>

> So true. I did manage to hear Doug's bird calling as it headed west,

> so at least I wasn't totally scuppered, but I've had more inspiring

> moments in my life. Feeling a little bummed out by my lack of bird-

> location skills, I wandered over to the Dime Parking Lot and leaned

> moodily against my car, ala James Dean. Luckily, my neck got stiff

> from looking down so much, and when I straightened up, there above my

> head was a circling Turkey Vulture! (I decline to comment on what the

> vulture might have been hoping for, with me slumped against my car.)

> Off in the distance was another Turkey Vulture, even higher. They were

> both heading north in graceful arcs against the cloudy sky.

>

> Also on view today: a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds, numerous

> Audubon's and Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warblers coming into full breeding

> plumage, a Winter Wren singing a symphony in Surber grove, and a Sharp-

> shinned Hawk hunting over the CUH area. Another great day, even though

> I had to wait a while before the Fill delivered. It always does, you

> know. - Connie, Seattle

>

> constancesidles at gmail.com

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 6

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 13:50:28 -0700

> From: "Joseph V Higbee" <jvhigbee at hotmail.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Bottle Beach, Westport and Tokeland

> To: "Tweeters" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <BAY137-DAV1040D2AD8AF8B575F2E7E6D7820 at phx.gbl>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

>

> Spent part of two days, Monday & Tuesday, checking out the above. Was taken by

> surprise by the tide. Even though I arrived at Bottle beach almost two hours

> before high tide on Monday I was too late. On Tuesday I was there three hours

> before and it was about right but still none too early. Not much there yet, a

> few BB Plovers and a large flock of Dunlin. I stood still about 50 ft from

> waterline and they surrounded me, coming within about ten feet. Had to pick

> more distant ones for pictures in order to keep them in the frame.

>

> I found it interesting to note the various stages of plumage on them and also

> on the rockpipers at Westport on Monday. None quite fully changed yet but some

> close and others hardly started. At Westport the Rock Sandpipers and Surfbirds

> and Black Turnstones were sitting on the piling next to the bridge to the

> outer pilings. I passed within 6 feet and they hardly seemed to notice.

> Otherwise it was quiet there also.

>

> Midway Beach is closed. Tokeland was really nice for taking a nap. In between

> I noticed a couple Horned Grebe, one in almost full breeding plumage and one

> just starting. Everything stayed pretty far out, but it was nice napping.

>

> Stayed at the Twin Harbors state park and there we saw Rufous Hummers in

> abundance, Townsend's and Orange-crowned Warblers, a Merlin, and kinglets,

> chickadees fox and song sparrows, Varied Thrush, Robins and crows.

>

> http://www.pbase.com/jvhigbee/gallery/c_current

>

>

> Joseph Higbee

> Spanaway, Wa

> mailto: jvhigbee at hotmail.com

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> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 7

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 14:02:57 -0700

> From: "Aldrich, David L" <aldridl at dshs.wa.gov>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Abundance of Rufous Hummers

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID:

> <D8DFCA08AEE9D4408D32C3F7F2038EF39A423A at dshsmxoly1504f.dshs.wa.lcl>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Hi All:

>

>

>

> We live in Grays Harbor near Montesano and we have notice a larger group

> of Rufus hummers taking advantage of our two humming bird feeders

> compared to last year. Last year there were maybe two males and a

> handful of females but this year there are 4 males and 8 females all

> trying to sample the juice. It gets really wild around dusk when they

> all show up for their last feeding of the day with a lot of noise and

> positioning and everyone changing feeding slots trying to stay away from

> each other. Often at the times when the feeders are at their busiest

> we are able to see two hummers sharing a single spigot, one hovering

> while the other perches and they each takes their turn dipping in. Very

> noisy and busy compared to last year.

>

>

>

> Dave and Sylvia

>

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>

> Message: 8

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 14:23:50 -0700 (PDT)

> From: Devorah Bennu <birdologist at yahoo.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] museum birds, mystery birds (links)

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID: <222540.29063.qm at web50404.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

>

>

> hello tweeties,

>

> have you ever wondered what contributions that natural history museum

> collections (old and dusty as they might be) can make to modern DNA research?

> i wrote a story about this very topic and published it today for you to read

> and ponder;

>

> http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2009/04/dead_birds_do_tell_tales.php

>

> the most recently demystified mystery bird was a gorgeous breeding-plumaged

> Sora, Porzana carolina, thanks to Joseph Kennedy;

>

> http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2009/04/todays_mystery_bird_for_you_to_1

> 96.php

>

> Rick Wright, our favorite online bird guide, wrote an analysis for this bird

> (although the image is so amazing, that most people would have identified it

> correctly anyway).

>

> today's mystery bird is a little bit different from what you might expect, but

> i think you'll have fun with it anyway;

>

> http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2009/04/todays_mystery_bird_for_you_to_2

> 20.php

>

> cheers,

>

> GrrlScientist

> Devorah

> http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/

> http://twitter.com/GrrlScientist

> Roosting high up a tree somewhere in Central Park, NYC

>

>

>

>

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 9

> Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 16:04:58 -0700

> From: "Josh Hayes" <josh at blarg.net>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Re: lake levels

> To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <A8A7AE70F19D440BB4775E8510A75F45 at homebase>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Connie writes:

>

>> Hey tweets, I got a call from the Ballard lockmaster's office today

>> about the letter I sent on Saturday, asking the lockmaster to consider

>> lowering the lake level to create more mud for spring migration. The

>> lady who responded to my letter said it had been a first for the

>> office. No one has ever brought up this issue before. I warned her

>> that more letters might be coming!

>

> I think the operations are based on seasonal runoff patterns. I used to work

> in the salmon management biz, the the problem is that water that goes out

> the Locks is gone - and each time they cycle, more freshwater is lost.

>

> Runoff, and direct precipitation, are highest in Spring and Winter,

> respectively, but once the dry season rolls in during July, it's several

> months before there's any recharge in the lake water table. The idea has,

> therefore, been to hold up water in the Spring so it'll still be available

> during the Summer, and will last until Fall rains start to recharge the

> lake.

>

> Higher lake levels probably also encourage higher salmon escapement as well,

> though that's not clear.

>

> Anyway, I just wanted to point out that they're not doing this on a purely

> arbitrary basis! The COE really does think before they act!

>

> Cheers,

>

> Josh in North Seattle

> Josh at blarg dot net

>

>

>

> ------------------------------

>

> Message: 10

> Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2009 17:21:22 -0700

> From: Anya Illes <ailles at u.washington.edu>

> Subject: [Tweeters] ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER Carkeek

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID: <49DD3F82.6010708 at u.washington.edu>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

>

> Tweeters,

> Just had an ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER in a big blooming forsythia on the

> south overlook at Carkeek Park (the grassy area where the sign says

> "crest," and along the fence of the nearby houses).

> Other interesting birds: a flock of 50 BRANDT bathing in the outflow of

> the river.

> Also Rufous Hummer, several singing Townsend's Warblers, and a rather

> large flock (>100?) of Pine Siskins is still hanging out in a raucous,

> lively group.

>

> Fun plants - bleeding hearts are starting to bloom, as well as some

> trillium.

> Happy spring,

> Anya Illes






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