Rufous Hummingbird – State College, PA

Alex LamoreauxBanding, Rarities3 Comments

Despite having lots of birders and lots of people Centre County, PA has only had 2 confirmed records of Rufous Hummingbirds. One visited feeders in Port Matilda and another was found in State College, both a number of years ago. However, this morning when I woke up and checked the SCBIRCL listserve there was an email from Mary Ziegler, saying ” I have a hummingbird continuing to come to my feeder at my home near State College. I’m an amateur, but I think it may be a female Rufous, or maybe a juvenile. My garden flowers are long gone, but I’ll continue to keep the feeder out.”

I have been waiting for a report like that for 3 falls now and was very excited to go over and try to see the bird. After calling and talking to Mary she said she was happy to let birders visit, so Ian Gardner, Matt Sabatine, Carl Engstrom, and I went over at 11am. By 11:20am, the hummingbird flew in to the feeder on Mary’s porch and then perched in the branches of a tree nearby for the next half hour!

Rufous Hummingbird - adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird – adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird - adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird – adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird - adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird – adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird - adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Rufous Hummingbird – adult female in State College, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Wayne Laubscher (the hummingbird bander for central PA) was able to drive over this afternoon, and a little after 2:30pm the trap was set, and we just had to wait for the hummingbird to fly in. Within 5 minutes, the hummingbird zipped up into view and went right into the trap. Wayne pulled the trap-door and then was able to process the bird and band it, confirming it is indeed an adult female Rufous Hummingbird! This tiny bird weighed 4.05 grams.

Examining the gorget of the adult female Rufous Hummingbird (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Examining the gorget of the adult female Rufous Hummingbird (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Banding the Rufous Hummingbird (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Banding the Rufous Hummingbird (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Measuring the bill length (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Measuring the bill length (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Measuring the wing (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

Measuring the wing (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

The homeowner, Mary Ziegler, releasing the Rufous while Wayne watches. (Photo by Carl Engstrom)

The homeowner, Mary Ziegler, releasing the Rufous while Wayne watches. (Photo by Carl Engstrom)