Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus

Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus

This aggressive little nectar-feeder times its spring arrival in Oregon to coincide with the blooming of a red-flowered currant that is one of its chief food sources. The male and the female have separate territories, and both are combative, chasing away other hummingbirds, blackbirds, and thrushes. The male performs a circular courtship flight, rising high in the air over the branch where the female is perched.

Identification Adult male orange-rufous above, with bright orange-red throat patch (gorget) and white breast. Female green above with rufous sides and base of tail. Immature male has green back, red flecks on throat.

Voice Gives low, soft chuppy or chippy notes; also an excited zeee-chuppity-ckup. Male's wings produce buzzy trill in courtship flight.

Habitat Woodlands, forest edges, chaparral, and mountain meadows.

Range Breeds from SE. Alaska to S. Oregon, east to SW. Alberta and Montana. Winters in Mexico.

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