Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Backyard Nature Wednesday: Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Truthfully, I do not have a Buff-bellied Hummingbird in my backyard, although some of these tropical hummingbirds do make it this far north in their wanderings. But in fact, seeing a Buff-bellied at the Estero Llano Grande State Park on one of the good days for birding last week was one of the highlights of my vacation.

The Buff-bellied is noticeably larger than the hummingbirds that I am most used to seeing - the Ruby-throated, Black-chinned, and Rufous. It is 4.25" in length and has a wingspan of 5.75".

The most obvious thing about the bird, other than its size, is that bright red, slightly curved bill. That is a field mark that you just can't miss and you can see it with the naked eye from a good distance. It leaves no question about the identification, which is always a good thing. 

Here is a closer view of bird. They are uncommon within their limited range and are most frequently seen at feeders and flower gardens. This feeder was set out by the staff at the visitor's center at the park. The Buff-bellied is a resident bird there. While we were there, other birders were reporting seeing Ruby-throats and Black-chinneds in spring migration through the park. I didn't see them though. I had eyes only for the Buff-bellied.

10 comments:

  1. They are so beautiful. And presumably used to people being around at a visitor's centre.

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    1. This one did seem pretty oblivious of people, but that actually seems true of most hummingbirds. I think they are so small that their perspective of the world and other beings in it is something that we really can't understand. On the whole, they seem fearless.

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  2. How cute! And it's appreciatively bigger than most whose pics I have seen.

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    1. Yes, I think even in the picture you can tell it's bigger. When you are that small, a half an inch makes quite a difference!

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  3. The hummingbirds are really amazing. They never seem to sit long enough to really appreciate them and you have captured them perfectly! The colors are beautiful.

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    1. They are "flighty" and difficult to capture. My husband, who is a much better photographer, helped me with these shots. The only way to get them was to focus the camera on the feeder and start clicking the moment the bird appeared. We got lucky!

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  4. It's great your shot worked out, so cute and intent on its nectar. I tried something like that for quick Nuthatches, but not many came out. The red bill is really pretty, it is a good identification marker. Fun to learn some new bird information. The hummers here are quite small.

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    1. It really is quite a distinctive bird and it was great fun being able to observe it and get some usable pictures.

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  5. Wonderful photos Dorothy. What a treat to see!

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    1. It was certainly a treat for me. It almost made all the rain we endured on our vacation worthwhile.

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