American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Calliope Hummingbird – Manitoba

So if anyone doubted that November was the rarity month, perhaps this first week and change of the month will dissuade them of that notion but quick. In the first nine days of the month (and the last few of October) we’ve seen no less than 9 first state/provincial records and a who’s who of ABA rarities including Red-footed Booby (Fl), Eared Quetzal (Az), Tundra Bean-Goose (Ca, NS), Amazon Kingfisher (Tx), Common Swift (Ca), Marsh Sandpiper (Ca) and Fork-tailed Flycatchers (In, Tx). These last couple weeks have been, in the parlance of the kids these days, bananas.

So here’s one more first record, this time from Manitoba, and it’s another Calliope Hummingbird. A homeowner in Selkirk had the forethought to leave their feeder our past the point of reason (this is a familiar song) and noticed an odd bird visiting. Photos were eventually obtained, first by Gerald Machnee and then by Christian Artuso, which suggest strongly that the bird in question was Calliope, which, of course, is a provincial first.

CAHU Manitoba

Calliope Hummingbird in Selkirk, Manitoba, photo by Christian Artuso

More photos are available at Christian Artuso’s website.

Selkirk is about a half and hour northeast of Winnipeg by car. It is not yet clear whether this bird will be publicly accessible, or, even if it will be present in the next few days. Sub-zero temperatures forecast for the next few days in the region mean that it may either move on, pass on, or be captured by local rehabbers.

While not as far east as the recent records of Calliope Hummingbird in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, the fact that this one is so far north is notable. Selkirk is at about 50° N latitude, and the northernmost extreme of Calliope Hummingbird’s breeding range is only about 56° N.

With so many recent records, perhaps birders in those few states and provinces without this species should get some feeders up. There’s no better time!