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Posts Tagged ‘out of range’

It is very rare to see a Rufous Hummingbird here in Arkansas. The last one I saw and also photographed was two years and one month ago. This mature adult male came in on Tuesday and I have seen him at the feeder about 2 dozen times since. I have not seen him this morning though so far. He is larger than Ruby Throat hummingbirds and much more aggressive. They are a “sight to see” but I’m sure the western US birders would love to see a Ruby Throat, too. I have about one hundred hummingbirds at four feeders and Im sure that is the attraction. I understand, but have not seen these “out of range” hummingbirds as late a December here in Arkansas.

I am rebuilding a deck that I fell through in June, and he has found a lookout from which to chase others on a new post. Taken up close with a Canon 1DS Mark III and a Canon EF300L f/4.0 IS lens @ 1/2000 of a second, coming very close (within 10 feet) to me:

 

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

 

MapRufousBBS01

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I have been watching a pair of White-Crowned sparrows nest here in Arkansas. That is outside their breeding range ! Got a nice photo last night on the log pile.

White-crowned Sparrows appear each winter over much of North America to grace our gardens and favorite trails (they live in parts of the West year-round). The smart black-and-white head, pale beak, and crisp gray breast combine for a dashing look – and make it one of the surest sparrow identifications in North America. Watch for flocks of these sparrows scurrying through brushy borders and overgrown fields, or coax them into the open with backyard feeders. As spring approaches, listen out for this bird’s thin, sweet whistle.

Cool Facts
A young male White-crowned Sparrow learns the basics of the song it will sing as an adult during the first two or three months of its life. It does not learn directly from its father, but rather from the generalized song environment of its natal neighborhood.
Because male White-crowned Sparrows learn the songs they grew up with and do not travel far from where they were raised, song dialects frequently form. Males on the edge of two dialects may be bilingual and able to sing both dialects.
A migrating White-crowned Sparrow was once tracked moving 300 miles in a single night. Alaskan White-crowned Sparrows migrate about 2,600 miles to winter in Southern California.
Scientists interested in movement and energetics have discovered that White-crowned Sparrows can run on a treadmill at a pace of about one-third of a mile an hour without tiring out.
White-crowned Sparrows will share their territories with Fox Sparrows, but chase Chipping Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos until they leave.
Male White-crowned Sparrows do most of the singing, but sometimes females also sing. They usually do this while contesting breeding territories or a winter food source. Their songs are quieter and more variable than male’s songs.
The oldest recorded White-crowned Sparrow was 13 years 4 months old.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

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