Always keep your eyes and EARS ready for action! After having the opportunity to discover and photograph the first-ever Yellow-throated Warbler reported in Baja Sur I am so looking forward to “what’s next”. People are always asking me “how did you see this , what made you notice that?” I always reply like some philosopher ” it isn’t what I’m looking at, it’s what I see”. I find birds by their GISS, (general impression of size and shape), be aware. A lot of that awareness involves listening as well.
I was sitting by our hummer-feeders having a snack. The birds were fighting like usual when I noticed a new sound. As I listened, a bird’s call sounded a little out-of-place. I got to lookin’ and there’s an LBJ (little brown job) cruising among the other hummers. It flew in a different manner than the others and had a call I wasn’t familiar with. Wake up, go get the camera dummy. You see, we basically have 2 types of hummingbirds in this part of Mexico, the Xantus’s and Costa’s. This was neither.
The tail feathers extended way past the primaries. Not a Costa’s.
It has a neat, little red spot lower on it’s neck in front. Hmmmm?
Clearly, not a Xantus’s. No way, not even close!
The tail feathers are looking pretty rough. This hummer is in heavy molt so I rule out a vagrant Anna’s Hummingbird. A possibility but, no. They don’t molt this time of year.
After looking at the pics, my friends at Whatbird.com are divided about the I.D. of this lonely bird. I’m still wallowing around in the glory (in my mind) of finding that Yellow-throated Warbler and happened to have the email address of another bird expert right in front of me. I send some photographs of the bird to him and get a fast, out-of breath reply. “You have a young Ruby-throated Hummingbird there”. “A very, very good bird for Baja”. I think my sweetheart is off with the girls somewhere so I get all full of myself and pat myself on the back. This is a new bird for me. The first report of this species ever in this part of Baja and only the third reported in all of Baja Sur! Yippy-wowey.
There’s a storm brewing and the weather is dark. Thats why the pictures aren’t so good today but the subject’s really got me going. Keep your eyes open and your ears ready for action. The next new bird could be right in your own back yard. Happy Birding from Chris and Debbie. Like us on Facebook, please.