Date: 9/11/17 12:36 pm
From: Tim Rodenkirk <timrodenkirk...>
Subject: [obol] Rufous/Allen's confusion on South Coast
After about the end of June, adult Rufous and Allen's Hummers head south
and become hard to find. That leaves the female and young around. They
often stay around longer but begin to disperse also. Trying to ID these
female and first year birds to species is very difficult without getting
good looks at tail feathers, something I imagine most observers do not even
attempt to do. Instead many observers base their ID on location of these
hummers assuming that birds in Coos are most likely Rufous and that ones
found south in Curry are most likely Allen's- at least that is what I see
on eBird. Over in the Willamette Valley where Allen's do not occur as
breeders it is probably very likely that those females and young birds are
indeed Rufous and are IDed as such into late fall where they are seen. On
the south coast Rufous could easily migrate south into Brookings and for
all we know some Allen's could linger or be around later in the season in
Coos County. So I think all hummer observations in Coos and Curry of
females and immature Selasphorus hummers from July through spring should
most accurately be called Rufous/Allen's. Even during spring migration,
female Rufous and Allen's are intermixed from Brookings north to about
Bandon on a regular basis. I had a nesting male Allen's at my house this
year in Coos Bay so they can nest further north rarely.

Bottom line is I do not think there should be any non-male Rufous/Allen's
identified to species in Coos or Curry the majority of the year (nesting
season being March through June, the best time to assume that the female
with the male at a nest is likely the same species). Perhaps changing the
filter in eBird would be the best answer?

The Selasphorus tend to linger longest wherever you can find flowering
fuschias this time of year and I always call them Rufous/Allen's as adult
males are pretty much all long gone.

Happy Birding!
Tim Rodenkirk
Coos Bay

 
Join us on Facebook!