Saturday, November 2, 2013

Calliope Hummingbird

This morning Eva and I headed to Manchester, New Hampshire with hopes of seeing the Calliope Hummingbird which has been seen daily since October 6 visiting feeders at the residence of Pam and Paul Tremblay (781 South Mammoth Road).  At 8:00 a.m. we arrived at our destination and were graciously welcomed by the Tremblays.  Within minutes the male hummer made its appearance alighting on the feeder located in front of the house.  Throughout the morning the bird tended to visit alternately one of the two feeders (the other behind the house) at 20 to 30 minute intervals.  Both feeders provide birders with close range viewing and photography.  Throughout our stay the number of birders steadily increased and the hummer did not fail to make appearances on schedule.  By the time we decided to head back home 30 plus birders had come and gone and  my guess is that none left disappointed.

This is the first New Hampshire state record for the species and a rare vagrant to the Northeast. Within the past couple weeks there have been other reports of single birds from Massachusetts and New Jersey.  The Calliope Hummingbird is North America's smallest breeding bird. Its breeding range is montane habitats of the Rocky Mountains and west; winter range is southwestern Mexico.  How long the Tremblays bird will remain is anyone's guess, but the longer it hangs around, its odds of survival diminish.  Hopefully it will resume migrating to much more southern climes.

Many thanks to our hosts, Pam and Paul, for their generosity and  patience by granting so many birders the rare opportunity of seeing this little gem.


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