Female and subadult hummingbirds can be really difficult identifications, there are no two ways about it. The annals of birding history are filled with stories of a mystery hummingbird appearing at a feeder, being initially identified with some certainty as one species, and turning out to be something unexpectedly different. We birders and vagrant hunters are exceptionally fortunate, then, that hummingbirds are notorious for their site fidelity and lack of timidity that allow for extended observation and often excellent photographs for that ultimate and exciting reveal.
That’s why it’s both surprising and not surprising that a hummingbird that appeared at a feeder in Newark, Delaware, on November 3 and tentatively ID’d as a female Archilocus sp, has been now confidently identified as Delaware’s first record of Anna’s Hummingbird.
Tim Schreckengost of Thermal Birding offers information for bird chasers:
The bird is being seen at 257 Delaplane Ave in Newark. The homeowner’s (Diane and Steve Freeberry) are birders and are very excited about this bird. They have indicated that people are free to walk down their driveway and look at the feeders behind their house (one on the lower deck, one on the upper). They are having work done on the house, so please stay out of the way of the contractors. There was a lot of noise and activity from the contractors when I was there but the bird seems oblivious. It comes to the feeders about every 15 min and often perches in the rose bush above the lower feeder or in the large cedar at the bottom of the driveway.
Anna’s Hummingbird is a common feeder bird of the Pacific Coast seen regularly as far north as British Columbia. The last few years have seen a rash of Anna’s Hummingbird records in the east, such that it has been recorded in some 26 states and provinces east of the Rocky Mountains even as far afield as Quebec and Newfoundland. Louisiana, the unquestioned winter hummingbird epicenter, leads the way with more than 30 reports.
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