Our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been gone for almost a month now; the last we heard was seen around September 24th or so. So the report of a hummingbird on the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club birdline certainly piqued my interest!
Local birding expert Rich Guthrie reported the sighting of a possible Rufous Hummingbird on October 24. He personally checked it out, then called in a licensed bander, and sure enough, it was confirmed that we have a female Rufous Hummingbird in our area! Be sure to read Rich's interesting post about Rufous Hummingbird sightings in the east and how hard these birds are to positively identify.
The homeowner was gracious about opening his property to observers and I had the opportunity to view the hummingbird today, October 25th. During the 20 minutes I was there, the hummingbird visited the feeder a number of times and perched from a couple favorite tree limbs.
She has been around since about the first week of October and has withstood temperatures as low as the upper 20s. While she was a joy to see, I hope she moves on soon before the temperatures dip much lower. Safe travels!
Another special thanks to the generous homeowner for sharing this special bird with all of us! Good thing he still had a filled, clean feeder out!
UPDATE NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A message from the homeowner where the rufuous was seen: "The little Rufous was last seen at our feeder at 7:10 yesterday morning (2 Nov). It was a bright sunny day for flying, and we wish her safe travels. I'll keep my feeder up, just in case."
Another BIG thank you to our hummingbird host for taking care of this special bird and for keeping us posted on her journey.
ADDENDUM: Any hummingbird visiting feeders in the east in late October, November, and December should be checked for this species. (Peterson Birds of Eastern/Central North America - Fifth Edition).
If a Rufous Hummingbird is documented anywhere in New York state, the report should be submitted to the NYS Avian Records Committee.