Date: 6/21/19 6:27 am
From: DJ Lauten and KACastelein <deweysage...>
Subject: [obol] Re: So You Think You have Seen Allen's Hummer in OR?
There is another simple solution.......they are one species.

Just sayin'.........: )

Dave (I've been saying this for years) Lauten
In the heart of the hybrid zone......Bandon.........

On 6/20/2019 8:03 PM, Tim Rodenkirk wrote:
> Hi All,
> Thought it was high time to have a discussion about Allen's Hummer in
> OR.  Recent research (Research - Brian
> Myers
> <>)
> on the south coast and into CA finds that the hybrid zone for
> Rufous/Allen's Hummers runs from Florence, OR to Arcata, CA- Wow!  I
> don't have any more in depth info on the study but I bet he would be
> interested in getting e-mails on his study- I know he mist-netted and
> collected many birds as well as collected DNA info on birds he did not
> actually collect. Further the research talks about how the display
> dive given by the hybrids is variable.  The study "found" (certain
> south coast birders have known for many years) that the center of the
> hybrid zone is from Bandon to Port Orford. Arch McCallum also did some
> recording work and found hybrids in the Bandon to Port Orford area
> before this research.
> I did point counts at New River, Coos which is within the center of
> the hybrid zone. This was from 1996 through 2010. During this time I
> literally saw hundreds of male Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's).  In order
> to ID them better, after surveys, I set up a spotting scope.  Once you
> figure out a breeding male's perches, it is relatively easy to get a
> scope on them so you can see back color.  This is something I think
> most birders would never do since it takes some time before you can
> figure out perches and actually see the birds, with their backs facing
> you, on the perch. In 90+% of the time the birds doing Allen's type
> displays only had partially green-backs which confused me since the
> field guides show a completely green-back for male Allen's.
> What the research shows and what I noted was although you may see a
> male Selasphorus doing an Allen's type display, it could still be a
> hybrid.  That means that in addition to seeing the display you need to
> get really good looks at its back to decide if it is a hybrid or not
> (totally green-backed or only partially green-backed, see field guides).
> In recent years I think Coos birders have become more wary of this and
> thus the Rufous/Allen's filter on eBird. I now think this filter
> should be extended to Curry and, well, all of Oregon.  I speculate (!)
> that when birders go down to Brookings and see an Allen's type display
> from a male Selasphorus they say ka-ching, got my yearly Allen's. I
> think we need more close scrutiny of these purported Allen's Hummers
> in southern Curry- are they really "pure" Allen's- maybe some, but are
> there many hybrids- does anybody really look closely at what percent
> of the back is green or even know that partially green-backed birds
> are likely hybrids?
> As for females, say you have a feeder in Brookings with an obvious
> male Allen's with a female, how would you be able to tell if the
> female was an Allen's, Rufous, or hybrid if separating male and female
> Rufous/Allen's is mostly impossible without great tail photos or a
> bird in hand?  In other words, how can you safely say that any female
> or young birds are Rufous or Allen's in Coos and Curry? I had a male
> Rufous/Allen's in my yard the last three years (not this year). It did
> a mostly Allen's type display the first year and I was convinced that
> was what it was; however, when likely the same bird came back the
> second and third year it would alternate Allen's and Rufous displays
> and well it was maybe 75% green-backed- ugh! I see that Allen's
> Hummers are routinely reported in southern Curry on eBird, sometime in
> number with no notes, this really bothers me. Obviously birders
> assuming that Selasphorus are Allen's because, well, that's what we
> have in Curry right? Maybe they saw a male display, but did they check
> the color on the back- I bet rarely.
> I forgot to mention that at New River I saw completely red-backed
> Rufous looking birds doing Allen's displays. I have seen the same at
> the base of Mt. Bolivar (3,000' elevation) in SE Coos.
> So, what I am hoping to convince Russ Namitz of, our South Coast
> eBirder reviewer (with way to much input from me, a non-eBirder but
> maybe someday), is to put a year round filter on Allen's on the south
> coast.  In addition, I have read from researchers, that in the old
> field guides that said 5% of Rufous could have some green on their
> back, that these are just likely hybrids. Such confusion!  Anyhow, I
> think any purported Allen's Hummer would have to be a male and would
> need supporting observations to be accepted on eBird. I know, this is
> a total paradigm shift for many long time OR birders, but your lifer
> Allen's just may have been a hybrid!
> In my opinion this may end up meaning that if Joe Jones in Brookings
> has a "good" Allen's at his feeder, birders, who want to get an
> Allen's and not a hybrid for their year or life list, will go to his
> feeder.  Pure Allen's in OR could be a pretty tough bird?  I have seen
> them in Coos but I have looked at hundreds if not thousands of males
> through spotting scopes on their perches and watched their dives,
> something future birders probably should be doing to find a "pure"
> Allen's (if not just camping out at a feeder where a male is known to be).
> I hope we can find out more about the hybrid zone in Curry- careful
> observation of males by OR birders in the next decade could really
> enlighten us to what is going on with these species in Curry County.
> Expecting some feedback...
> Tim Rodenkirk
> Coos Bay

Join us on Facebook!