Thursday, September 29, 2022

The tiniest smack

Around here, the most common species of hummingbird is the broad-tailed hummer. Their most unique characteristics are the broad tail (duh) and the noise they make. According to Audubon, "The metallic wing-trill of the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird is a characteristic sound of summer in the mountain west. This sound is often heard as a flying bird zings past unseen."

A couple weeks ago – September 4, to be exact – I heard a tiny "smack" against the window. I looked out and saw a hummingbird lying stunned on the deck.

It's not normal for hummers to smack into windows, although it happened once last year. The bird seemed a big dazed, so I gently picked it up and set it on a table to recover. It looked at me with a bright eye.

I'm fairly certain this is either a female or an immature male broad-tailed hummingbird. Here's a photo from the "All About Birds" website: 

I didn't probe this little bird's tail feathers, so I didn't see the rusty markings; but everything else seemed spot-on.

The creature took a few minutes to recuperate...

...then it zipped off into oblivion.

The hummers have been gone for a couple weeks now. It's past time for their fall migration, so assuming this bird didn't have any permanent damage from smacking into the window, it's on its way to Mexico for the winter. Bon voyage!

1 comment:

  1. I have had a lot of hummingbirds, I guess that feeder brings them in. I have a window on one side of the room and an identical window on the opposite side. When you stand back and look at that front window it looks like a tunnel so it is understandable why I have had a few crashes. My solution was to place a lace curtain on one of those spring laded rods. Problem solved, no more crashes, light comes in, we can see out and the birds are blocked. When they return from wherever I simply take down the curtain for a better view.