I'm not qualified to speak on hybrid Selasphorus hummers, since my birding on the south coast has been extremely limited. In fact,I can make no claim to ever having seen an Allen's, pure or otherwise. But for years I have wondered about the difference between Rufous and Allen's, primarily because the field guide descriptions of dive displays do not seem to match with what I have observed at Thornton Creek in LIncoln County. We are well north of the known range of Allen's, yet I consistently see male Rufous doing a shuttle display prior to their dive. Supposedly this trait is typical for Allen's. I have no reason to think these bird are anything other than Rufous..Maybe I am simply misunderstanding the information in the field guides or misinterpreting the display, .The shuttle display seems to be given most frequently by the males when they are right in front of a perched female. I wonder if this behavior by Rufous males has been noted by other observers further north.
From: "Robert O'Brien" <baro...>
To: "obol" <obol...>
Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2019 10:27:13 AM
Subject: [obol] Hybrid Rufous Hummers
On the subject of hybrid Rufous Hummers, I've been watching feeder hummers here for 45 years + and in that time have seen huge increases in numbers but only 2 standout, 'unusual' ones.
About 20 years ago i had a bright male Rufous with a green back............ A subadult?
About 15 years ago I had an 'obvious' hybrid Rufous/Anna's male. Mostly like a Rufous but with a bright red forehead and intermediate in size.
This is a 'known' hybrid, originally illustrated and named as Florescii's Hummingbird by the famous British ornithologist/artist/publisher John Gould in 1861.