On November 12th, Babe Webster observed a Selasphorous Hummingbird at her feeder, but only for a short time. Over the next few days the bird came back for longer stays at the feeder and in the yard. The ID of this bird appeared rather difficult as it would never spread its tail feathers.
Scott Weidensaul had the opportunity to band the individual on November 21 and concluded from r5 measurement that the bird was an Allen’s Hummingbird. This represents the third record for the state. Both previous records came from Lancaster County, one in 2009 and another in 2010.
When comparing this bird to the two previous for the state, Scott had some insight on the plumage conditions:
“Interestingly, this bird was in very clean, fresh plumage, with active molt only on the head and throat (not counting typical suspended molt of the flight feathers), while the Lititz bird was a scruffy mess, in very heavy body molt. There’s been some speculation that Allen’s are more likely to be in active body molt at this time of the year than rufous, because their breeding seasons are so much different.”
I stopped to see the bird on November 22, the day after it was banded. The bird started showing up to the feeder around 8:20 and made appearances every 3 to 4 minutes. I was able to Phone Skope the video below. For best quality watch in 720p.
With six hummingbird banders, around 60 vagrant hummingbirds have been observed or banded in the state this fall. For more on Western Hummingbirds in the East, check out this post from Team eBird.
After last week’s Pink-footed Goose, this was a nice addition to my life, year, and state lists. The Allen’s puts me at 394 for the year. I can almost taste or smell, whichever you prefer, number 400.
The video was taken with a Samsung Stratosphere on a Vortex Skyline 80 Spotting Scope using the Phone Skope Universal Adapter set up.