He had to have been surprised at my call, since I almost never call him on the phone. When he answered he probably thought, "what's so important, so soon, that you can't just email me?" That's what I would have thought, anyway. I was also thinking "Buff-bellied," but couldn't let myself be foolish enough to blurt that out. So, I gushed, "I've got a rare hummer here." There's nothing like getting right to the point. (I only have an expensive long-distance calling card from here, so hardly ever make a long-distance call.)
He, of course, politely and patiently inquired, "What is it?" I'm sure by now I had piqued his curiosity.
"I don't know," I replied, truthfully, wanting to say "Buff-bellied," but lacking the temerity to do it. "Maybe a Berylline," I added, knowing he would know I was knowledgeable enough to at least have some idea of what it was. "But it doesn't have a red bill." I figured that caveat would explain to him why I wasn't sure about the identification.
To my relief, he immediately said, "maybe it's a Buff-bellied." (It's always reassuring to know you're not crazy, or if you are, you're in good company.) I agreed, and informed him I was downloading pictures and would email them to him asap.
After he received a few of the photos, he responded that it looked like an immature male BUFH. I agreed. He said he'd be down first thing in the morning to attempt banding it. Again, I agreed, eager to let him handle the situation from there on.
So Kelly and Mark Lockwood arrived at first light and promptly caught and banded the bird.