Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Hummingbirds

The first one I want to talk about is a hummingbird new to me and the second is new science.

One morning on our recent trip to Livermore, CA, as I was looking for wildlife before the first of the day's baseball games, I spied a speedy little bird. The movement suggested to me that it was a hummingbird. Quick, zoom in and try to get a shot! Luckily it was still early and the pretty little hummer decided to perch for a bit between short flights in one section of a tree. I was able to close in on foot and with my zoom I was able to snap several pictures before it took off on its daily journey. Upon inspection of my images I realized that the little hummer was different than the ruby throated ones I was used to seeing in TX. (The picture above is a female Ruby-throated hummer.) I'm sure it was an immature male or a female hummer. What I'm not positive about is what species it was. I'm currently leaning towards Broad-tailed hummingbird female even though Merlin seems to think that Anna's or Black-chinned is more likely.

I have included an image of this new to me hummingbird in my new Livermore nature set of note cards which I have titled "Morning Coffee Break".

The second hummingbird with a designation of new is one that was not totally unknown to science, just not properly distinguished from a close relative. It had been thought that the Bahama Woodstar species found in the Bahamas contained two subspecies. Upon closer inspection it became apparent that these two members of the Bee Hummingbird group were actually two distinct species, hence the designation as a new hummingbird. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a good article from which I learned about this and has more information on the topic.

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