Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Calliope Hummingbird at Bentson-Rio Grande Valley State Park, 3/5/19

Saturday morning Mary Gustafson sent me a fuzzy photo of a hummingbird at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park that she thought was young male Calliope Hummingbird.  I was busy doing yard work so I let it slide and did not feel particularly bad when she told me it never came back that afternoon.  Well, the next morning Mary and the Sniders from Estero saw it several times and got some good photos.  I raced over and spent four hours waiting with a least a dozen others to no avail while a strong cold front blew in.  So yesterday after doing some chores I ran back over to Bentsen in the 37 degree weather and sit for a couple of hours in the gift shop watching the feeders.  Again no Calliope Hummingbird.

It was a little warmer this morning and the drizzle had stopped so I gave it one more try.  Mary was there with some British clients and eventually the Calliope Hummingbird flew in to the feeder.  I got some poor shots but later it flew in to another closer feeder with better lighting.  It's a young male with the gorget just starting to sprout.

It's the first eBird record for the Hidalgo County and only the second for the Valley.  I find it hard to believe that Calliope Hummingbird hasn't occurred more than that considering that they are not rare in migration through west Texas.  Anyway it's my 402nd species for Hidalgo County.

Also present the past few days at the same feeders were several Black-chinned Hummingbirds, one Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and a Buff-bellied Hummingbird.  I photographed this bird thinking it was a Black-chinned Hummingbird in the field.  But while editing it seems to be a little reddish on the gorget and crown.  We're discussing it on Facebook as I type.  I think it's a Black-chinned.  Hope it stays a while.

Everyone likes the sugar water.

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