Remember the October 1 post about keeping your hummingbird feeders up in hopes of attracting a rare hummingbird? The post that said: “Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have vacated the state by the second week of October.” Well, we kept our feeders up at Gilsland Farm and we had a hummingbird here yesterday!
Derek Lovitch of the Freeport Wild Bird Supply received a report of a hummingbird around the community gardens on Tuesday and he and I were able to relocate the bird on Thursday afternoon.
We spotted the bird feeding on the few remaining flowers in the garden and it was clearly an Archilochus-type hummingbird, which on October 16 we’d hope for Black-chinned Hummingbird (an overdue first state record!). Wrong… It was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
When the hummer perched it was easier to see that the primaries (outer flight feathers) all had a tapered and fairly slender look. A Black-chinned Hummingbird has broad, almost club-looking primaries. Also, the bill was short and mostly straight: good for Ruby-throated, bad for Black-chinned.
I’ll bet the next hummingbird report this year is a ‘good’ one. So keep those feeders up and please let us know if you see one!
A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.