Click any photo to enlarge

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Unpredictable hummers

This time of year is not very predictable birdwise, so I had no expectations one way or another. We got up way too early and arrived at Lajitas a bit later than we would have liked. It didn't help that I arrived at our meeting place 5 minutes late, which is unusual for me.

We only saw one hummer at Lajitas, and it wouldn't go into the trap. And dumb me, I was intently watching to see if it would go in, and, with my camera right beside me, I didn't think to take a photo. It was a gorgeous male Rivoli's Hummingbird. By the time I grabbed my camera, it was too late. It left and we didn't see it again. I'm thinking it was the male that recently left Kelly's place in the Davis Mountains for its southern migration. Since that one was already banded, it's logical that it wouldn't enter the trap. Mags are hard to catch anyway. But it's the first documented Mag for Lajitas, such as that documentation was.

So we dipped at Lajitas but got a juvenile Lucifer and Allen's at a banding site three miles south of CMO. By the throat pattern on the Allen's I could tell it was the same one that had been at CMO last week. We saw another Lucifer male there but it wouldn't go into a trap either.

Back at CMO we were successful in catching two of the three Lucifer Hummingbirds there. There were a couple of Anna's also, but didn't get them. Here is the cutest juvenile Lucifer ever. I forget now when he was originally banded, but it was obviously sometime this year.

The prize Lucifer of the day was this faded adult male. And no wonder he looks past his prime, he's 7 years old, our oldest Lucifer recapture ever.

Here's his 'resume' : Besides today, he was originally banded on Aug 16, 2009, then recaptured on Jun 3, 2010; May 12, 2011; Jun 23, 2012; Feb 23 & 26, 2013; and Mar 10, 2015. I wonder how many of the Lucifers around here are his progeny. It's obvious he's the first to arrive and the last to leave. One can't help but wonder if our record number of November Lucifer captures is the beginning of a global warming pattern. We're at four for the month already. Our previous record, last year, was 3. It's possible we'll get another next week.

Other than that, here's a Theona Checkerspot from Lajitas. I imagine it's also our Chlosyne bollii subspecies. I'm sure Brian will correct me if I'm wrong.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Only the butterfly was taken with the new camera. The juvenile Lucifer close-up was taken with my Lumix and the old Lucifer was taken with my old Xti before I got the new one. But I am doing better with the new one I think. My problem is that when I set the settings the same as my old one the photos were overexposed. The new one gathers more light or something, but I'll get the hang of it.