American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Berylline Hummingbird – Michigan

Quickly leaping towards the top of incredible ABA Area records this year comes the truly bizarre and amazing report of a Code 3 Berylline Hummingbird, not from Arizona where they are generally encountered, but from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, first seen on September 17. Pending acceptance, this is a first state record for Michigan and the first record of this species away from the southwest.


Photo by Evelyn Woods

The bird was initially seen at a feeder in Grand Marais, where the locals noted something unusual about the bird and took the photo above. It was not seen the next day and feared by many to be a one-day wonder until reports came in that it was visiting another feeder about a mile away. It was refound the next morning (yesterday) at the second location.

The hosts are amenable to visiting birds on the street. Please be respectful of their property and that of the neighbors. Directions are as follows, per the Michigan Listers listserv:

From the lower peninsula or eastern UP, take 77 north from M28 at Seney, MI, and turn left on H58 when you hit Grand Marais. Adams will be the sixth street you encounter.
As mentioned above, Berylline Hummingbird is uncommon but increasing in southern Arizona, where it has nested in recent years. It has also turned up in New Mexico and Texas. Fall records in west Texas may represent post-breeding wandering, but certainly no one could have predicted such a wanderer might end up so far north and east.
It is not unheard of, though, for southwestern hummingbirds to vagrate to unexpected places. Virginia has a record of Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Florida and Michigan have hosted White-eared Hummingbird, and Green Violetear, Green-breasted Mango, and Buff-bellied Hummingbird all have a fairly well-established pattern of vagrancy across the continent.