A first state record – Black-chinned Hummingbird

Perhaps it should not be surprising that during a banner year for Rufous Hummingbirds, PA would add both the second state record of Calliope Hummingbird and now the long-awaited first state record of Black-chinned Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbird has been expected for some time now as it is now regularly found wintering in the southeastern states, particularly along the Gulf Coast, and has also been found in recent years in several states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Increased awareness of these early winter hummers, as well as multiple ‘western hummingbird’ contests across the state have resulted in the addition of 3 new species of hummingbird to the state list in recent years – Allen’s, Anna’s and now Black-chinned Hummingbird – bringing the state list of hummingbirds up to 6 species.

This particular bird visited a yard in Bucks County on November 10th after the owner, Rich Dulay of Morrisville, read an article about early winter hummingbirds on the eBird website and decided to put his feeders out again. Luckily he was able to get the excellent photos below which he shared with Team eBird who then alerted some of us at PA eBird. At this point the bird is no longer being seen, but the photos should be sufficient to add this species to the state list.

Notice the long, down curving bill and club shaped ends of the primaries that sweep back (photo by Rich Dulay)

The swept back primaries are particularly noticeable in this photo (photo by Rich Dulay)

In his post to PA Birds, Tom Johnson noted the following features to identify this bird-

This bird is not an adult male, so focusing on the gorget pattern isn’t especially helpful for the identification. Identifying immature and female Archilochus hummingbirds is a challenging task, but this individual shows a long, noticeably decurved bill, dull head coloration, a relatively pale face pattern, and perhaps most importantly, blunt-tipped outer primaries that sweep back to form a hook shape (visible on the folded wing at rest).
These characters combine to help separate this bird from a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the typical Archilochus in eastern North America.



Pending the acceptance of the Herald Petrel from Hurricane Sandy, and this record, I believe the official Pennsylvania list will be 420 species.