My Wintering Hummingbirds
2002-2003 season

This page was last updated on: February 25, 2003

Scroll down for the first photos of the Buff-bellied Hummingbird, which appeared on 11/14/02.  Click here for more photos of the buffy

Banding Day on 11/27/02, when 3 Rufous hummingbirds were trapped and banded. Click on button to view photos of these hummers.
Male Rufous hummingbird
Left - is my first observed wintering Rufous of the 2002-2003 season. This adult male arrived on 10/23/02, but has not been seen since, so is presumed to be just passing through, on his way further south in Texas or east, towards other Gulf Coast states, such as Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, etc
I first spotted this female Rufous on 10/24/02, but did not see that she was wearing a band on her right leg until 10/26/02. This is a digiscoped image, taken when the light was very poor due to the very rainy weather we were having in SE Texas at the time. I hoped she would stay, so that the hummer bander could trap her to see if she is the same female he banded in March 02
Female Rufous
This is the same female, digiscoped on a sunny morning -10/29/02, whilst waiting for the hummer bander to come and trap her. If she is not the same bird, the numbers on her band will be submitted to the Bird Banding Lab, and they will have a record of where, when and by whom she was banded. Unfortunately she did not co-operate by going to the feeder in the trap, as there are so many flowers still blooming in the Fall.

To see the webpage of the banding session in March 02, click here
The hummer bander returned on 11/7/02, a cold morning, and was able to trap her this time, using a Hall trap (photos to follow later). He confirmed that she is the same Rufous that was banded here on 3/8/02! This proves that hummingbirds do have site fidelity and like to return to good wintering spots. She is still here as of Feb. 03.

My very first Buff-bellied Hummingbird appeared early on 11/14/02. Below are the best photos I have been able to get, so far. Taken against the light, the bill color doesn't show up well - it is red at the base, when viewed through my binoculars..
The "buffy" was around for 3 days the first week, disappeared and then returned for 3 days the following week.  On one occasion, I heard it's loud call as it flew in to the feeder area at 7:45am, chasing off the resident female Rufous. After feeding it dropped down and concealed itself in the hibiscus bushes below the feeder. Curiously, I watched it for several minutes as it waited for any other hummer to arrive, then it would fly out aggressively to defend the feeder!

Click here for more photos of the buffy.
© Helen Baines 2002
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December hummingbirds
Enlargement of the photo above, showing more detail of the bib feathers