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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PA Allen's Hummingbird Chase

So last weekend the Pennsylvania birding community was excited to learn that Scott Weidensaul had banded an Allen's Hummingbird--normally found in California--in a Lancaster County backyard. The bird is a female, and only identifiable for sure by measurements in the hand. So even though nobody can identify the bird themselves, dozens of birders have been going to see the bird for the past few days.

This morning after getting the kids off to school, I jumped in the car and headed over to Leola about an hour and a half away to see this little jewel, the first Allen's Hummingbird ever identified in Pennsylvania.

A good map of the neighborhood where the bird is found is online here.

Instructions are to park in the visitor parking spaces of the townhome community, walk back between the end towhhome unit and the low white fence, turn and walk between the arborvitae bushes and tall white fence, and stand behind the arborvitae bushes where you can see the feeder on the back deck of the second townhome from the end.

Here's the layout of the place with notes and directions:

I got to the scene about 10am, and after 20 minutes the bird flew in from a neighboring yard, landed in a small tree for a few seconds, then went to the feeder for maybe 15 seconds before zipping off again. In the hour I stayed there, the bird visited the feeder 3 times.

Each time it came from a neighboring yard where it was not visible, and the first sign of it coming was the chittering hummingbird noises it made. Or by looking down the path between the fence and the arborvitae, you could actually see it zip across that opening a few seconds before you could hear it arrive.

In a new low for rare bird documentation, here's the best photo I could get on my camera phone through my Zeiss 7x42s (don't laugh, there really is a bird there, hovering to the right of the feeder).

Much better photos by Geoff Malosh are online here.

So while I didn't get good photos, couldn't technically identify it from the very, very similar female Rufous Hummingbird, the smile on my face is the result of yet another fun and successful bird chase.


birdchaser said...

Note that the loop labeled as Concord Dr. on the Bing aerial image is actually Batten Circle. Image is looking to the south from the north.

Scott Namestnik said...

Same bird that was in Ohio last week, I'm assuming? Send it back this way so we can see it in northern Indiana!

Lisa said...

How did you band the hummingbird? This is something I've been interested in doing. Also, is that a Perky-Pet feeder I see in the picture? I've been trying to decide which one to get and was wondering which you recommended.
Here's the Magnolia Top Fill feeder I came across:

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