Hummingbirds – Five Summer Visitors to the Kaibab
Rufous Often described as “feisty,” the Rufous may have the ideal size-to-weight ratio among North American hummingbirds. This bird out flies all other species, and usually gets its way at feeders at the expense of slower, less-maneuverable hummers. The Rufous has the longest migration route of all US hummingbirds. It is common in Summer.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds are very common in the western United States, breeding in West Texas and areas west and north up into Canada. Houston is at the eastern edge of their range and they are relatively common here in summer.. The male’s gorget is mostly black with a difficult-to-see band of violet-purple below. Females’ plumage above is a more dull green and in a perched position, the wings appear longer with the outer primary feather broader with a blunt curved end. Another clue to distinguish a Black-chin is that the it usually wags and pumps the tail when hovering.
Broad-tailed The male Broad-tailed’s wings make a cricket-like whistle in flight. One female Broad-tailed holds the North American age record, at twelve years old. A hummingbird of subalpine meadows, and a common visitor, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird ranges across the south-central Rockies in summer. It possesses a number of physiological and behavioral adaptations to survive cold nights, including the ability to enter torpor, slowing its heart rate and dropping its body temperature.
Calliope The Calliope prefers high mountains, and has been seen as high as 11,000 feet. It builds its nests over creeks or over roads next to streams or lakes, usually repairing the previous year’s nest or constructing a new one atop the old. This bird usually forages within five feet of the ground. It is an occasional visitor in the courtyard and at the back fountain at Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast.
Magnificent! Occasionally visiting our B&B, and aptly named for its spectacular plumage, the Magnificent Hummingbird is one of several hummingbird species found in southeast Arizona but not regularly elsewhere in the United States. The species was known as Rivoli’s Hummingbird until the mid-1980s. The Magnificent Hummingbird is one of the two largest species. The black bill is long and straight to slightly curved. Both sexes look very dark unless the sun catches the iridescence of the plumage and the brilliant colors flash in the sunlight.