Skip to comments.Hurricane Relocates Hummingbird (Southwestern Hummingbird Found In Nova Scotia.
Posted on 09/25/2010 5:51:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Probably the most interesting bird spotted in Nova Scotia after the passage of hurricane Earl, was a Calliope hummingbird from the American western mountains, where they are uncommon at best.
The male is the only hummer whose coloured throat feathers form streaks against a white background. The red feathers on its throat can be distended. It is the smallest U.S hummer.
How the southwestern hummingbird ended up in Nova Scotia, is a mystery. It might have been migrating south to its wintering grounds in north west Mexico when it got caught up in Earl's vortex.
The question now is whether Hurricane Igor, which passed close to Nova Scotia and battered Newfoundland and Labrador this month, left any more rarities.
A lot of unusual species from the west and southwest turn up there because Canada's land mass protrudes there and birds don't like to fly over the open water.
A most unusual sighting closer to home was a Chuck-will's-widow spotted by Bill Lindley at Fanshawe Park. This member of the nightjar family has been known to nest in southern Ontario along the Lake Erie shoreline with records at Point Pelee national park and Wheatley, and Rondeau provincial parks. I have seen one sitting on a nest at Point Pelee many years ago, and they are almost always heard in the woods in the southern part of Rondeau Park every year.
Not only is this a new bird for Middlesex County, it's the first bird of this species found anywhere in Ontario in the fall. Lindley found the bird in the red pine grove next to the trailer park campground. He was enjoying the usual sightings of chickadees, cedar waxwings, a few warblers and golden-crowned kinglets that he discovered the large nightjar roosting high up in the shadows of the pines.
It may have nested further north, but in any case, some birds are going to have their territories changed because of global warming.
I expect new southern birds to turn up in larger numbers during the next ten years.
Lindley reports a number of field marks which indicates the largest nightjar in North America, a big flat head with a thick neck and under-tail that was white with buff-brown edges and tail tip.
Hawk watching has been sporadic at Hawk Cliff this year and although 1,600 sharp-shinned hawks and 600 kestrels with a good sprinkling of harrier hawks have been reported, it appears many of the large flights of broad-wing hawks have gone through further inland. Some have been seen over London, Pittock Lake and other inland spots in small numbers.
At Metro Park near Detroit, they've already had more than 25,000 broad-wings and more than 60 bald eagles. Peregrine falcons and golden eagles come next. The peregrines are best seen on a strong southwest wind when they will glide along the cliff and golden eagles, which appear mostly in October, need a fairly strong northwest wind to keep them low for good sighting.
Oh Gosh, flycatcher, you’ll love this one.
The male looks as though he has purple flames for a neck decoration! The female gets polka dots on her throat instead. Beautiful little birds.
And precisely how would that have happened, since Earl didn't go anywhere near the Western flyways? It's a lot more likely that scientists just underestimated the range of the species..or the bird hitched a ride on a truck to the East. :)
Hmmm, hard to believe.
A hummingbird has a very high metabolism. So much so that it goes into semi-hybernation every night. Apparently they starve to death after two days.
So what did this bird eat as it flew non-stop for so long?
Global Warming, and a need to eat.
I'm thinking Cajun food.
Many years ago I listed a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak on the local Humboldt Bay rare bird hot list. It was only the 3rd or 4th time it had been sighted in north western California...
We have a lot of bird species here now that weren’t around when I was a kid. Probably a variety of reasons.
Now for a true story: A couple years ago, I was calliope hunting in the Sierra Nevada at about 8,000 feet near Bridgeport, Calif. During the hike, I thought a spotted a calliope, but the glimpse was too fleeting to call it (it may have been a broad-tailed). So the patient birder that I am, I decided to attach a bright orange pen to my hat to entice the hummer to come closer (it may think it's a flower, ya know). Well, it didn't work. But after five minutes of nothing, I spotted the hummer perched on western juniper snag. And, indeed, yes, it was a gorgeous male calliope. I then had the pleasure to watch it feast on some nectar from some wax currant (ribes cereum).
I've since seen many other calliopes (in Oregon, Nevada, and California) but I'll always remember that one.
Thanks for the ping!
In southern Nevada, a few rose-breasted grosbeaks are seen every year, but usually females or first year birds.
Now here's a twist for you. Humboldt Bay is well known for black brant, but if you can believe it, I made a black brant sighting at Desert Natl Wildlife Refuge in Clark County (Corn Creek Field Station) last spring. The bird, sadly, was confined to a very small pond and appeared to have a broken wing. Needless to say, it caused quite a sensation in Nevada birding circles. But sadly again, a week later, the bird was found dead.
How a brant with a broken wing ended up there is anyone's guess.
But a singularly beautiful bird!
I hunted Black Brant on Humboldt Bay 50 years ago. I worked with a guy who made great skull boats (I think that’s what their called?) Old age has taken it’s toll and I can’t even remember his name. The boats are collectors items these day. Humboldt Bay is a birders hot spot and you should come over for Godwit days in Arcata next year...
How close are you to South Padre island? That is another birders hot spot...
Actually closer to North Padre Island.
We have all kinds of birds that either come here to winter or fly through going further south. Thus the “snowbird” moniker for the northerners that winter here to escape the snow.
My personal favorite is the hawk migration. Literally thousands birds of prey that spiral upwards in the thermals.
Glowbull warming hits Nova scotia. Quick, gather a phalanx of scientists. We nedd 100 billion in grant money stat.
Btw, where’re my field glasses, I want to see a pretty bird.
Unfortunately, I'm booked from April 15 to July 15 doing breeding bird surveys across the Interior West, so there's no way I could ever make it.
Get a wandering tattler for me!
I love it when nature stumps science.
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