Date: 3/13/17 2:46 pm From: Tim Rodenkirk <timrodenkirk...> Subject: [obol] Allen's Hummers in OR
I was checking eBird and noticed a few Allen's sightings in Coos Bay lately, probably because of my recent postings of the bird at my casa (a real rarity, my first verified one meaning one that stayed around and displayed). Allen's nest north as far as about New River on a regular basis, further north of that they are a rarity although they are often reported from Bandon which I think is hybrid country. Hybrids are fairly common at New River and north to Bandon and sometimes to Coos Bay. I am speaking males here- good luck on female ID unless you can study tail feathers. So when looking for Allen's you need to find a bird with a pretty green back; most green-backed males I see have less than 50% green and are likely hybrids (although a small percent could be Rufous). I suspect most are hybrids though because when I see them display they usually do an Allen's type pendulum before their J. And yes if you do find a very green-backed individual make sure you also get to see a display to make sure on ID. Of course one could go down to Gold Beach or Brookings but be wary for migrant Rufous. The short of it is that if you get a quick look at a Selasphorus hummer on the south coast you should put it as Rufous/Allen's on eBird. Arch McCallum recorded hybrid wing sounds at New River and around Langlois. Full extent of the hybrid zone south is an unknown. Arch recorded good Allen's in Brookings though. Not sure what is happening north of there? Gold Beach would be a good place to look for Allen's though I suspect.
Also if you want to find Allens from NOW until mid-May is best time, while males are still displaying. By late May and June the males are oughta here and the females and young are on the move so all Selasphorus after about 1 June should be Rufous/Allen's sp. (unless you happen to find an obvious Allen's lingering of course). Just because you are in Brookings in June doesn't mean that a female Selasphorus is an Allen's. Every year I get calls from visiting birders in June asking me for good spots to look for Allen's- too late I say!
I base all this info from spending 15 years doing point counts at New River and viewing literal a thousand or more male Selasphorus. Oh, if you find their perch viewing adult males can be easier with a spotting scope, it just takes time to get good looks...
Out of range green-backed males Selasphorus in Western OR could be Rufous too- once again, look for a display to be more sure.