October Hummingbird


This little hummingbird is still hanging around the yard when all others have left. Is it a straggling young Black-chinned or something else? I’ve posted pictures of this hummingbird so you can take a look. Under each picture I’ve commented about its field marks such as wing to tail ratio, bill shape, lack of buffiness, faint gray supercilium, etc., that might point to something else other than Black-chinned. Please let me know what you think it is. The white on its forehead is probably frost or pollen.

5 responses to “October Hummingbird”

  1. I’m not so sure about Ruby-throated. I’m at work and have no references available here, but the bird looks dumpy, very white-throated, gray-sided, and the tail tip is either equal to or shorter than the folded wing tips. I suppose it still could be an Archilochus sp. in some sort of transitional molt or plumage, but I think Costa’s is another possibility. What do you think?? I agree with John it certainly is not an Anna’s.


  2. Upon closer inspection of the other images, the bird’s tail appears to be partially missing and/or incompletely grown. Perhaps the dorsal green coloration is a shade too bright for Costa’s. I therefore agree with others that Ruby-throated seems to fit best.–Randy Pinkston

  3. The narrow inner primaries nail the ID as an Archilochus hummer; Calypte hummers would show broader inner primaries. The shape of the primaries make it a Ruby-throated Hummer (IMHO). Notice how tapered/pointed the inner primaries are, and, more importantly, notice the shape of P10. It is clearly narrower than P9 (shown well in Photos 3 & 10). Compare that to the Black-chinned in Photo 11, whose P10 is the same width as P9 and comes to a much broader tip.

    I would say this bird is an adult female because of the worn upperpart, tail, and primary feathers. A HY would show fresher feathers with pale edges and also would probably show noticeable throat spotting.


  4. I think Nick Block has it nailed. She looks to be pretty fat and will probably move along very soon.