I often feel a bit in ‘limbo’ the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The rush, the preparations, the excitement of the big day is all over and you sit around and just sort of ‘waiting’ for New Year’s Eve. But not this year! This year the week of anticipated ‘limbo’ turned out to be anything but, when two ‘winter’ hummingbirds decided to venture into my world. And as luck would have it, both arrived at locations where hosts ‘knew’ a bit about winter hummingbirds and knew to give me a call.
I’ve spent the week speaking with those hosts, traveling to their locations and ultimately banding what turned out to be two beautiful juvenile male rufous hummingbirds. Each one a bit different, each one with similar yet different molt patterns, each one with a varying numbers of glowing new orange gorget feathers. Good news, both hummingbirds healthy, in good weight and feisty as this species is known to be.
So, as I prepare to bid farewell to the ‘old’ and ‘welcome’ in the new, I remain humbled and honored to be able to do this important work and am ever thankful for the joy, the smiles, the happy tears and the wonder hummingbirds and hummingbird banding brings to all it touches.
Happy New Year and happy winter hummingbirds to all!
And thanks Dave Magers for the photo of the Shelby Bottoms Rufous….and congrats on the lifer!