Monday, June 11, 2012

The Chuparosa Challenge-Girl Problems

I know I know.  Tough life:)  Hey, it's a challenge.  There's nothing easy about this post today:)  So this was the 3rd Chuparosa Challenge and I was on a search for the Female White Eared Hummingbird.  This challenge would prove to be a failure.  Or would it?  The females in the hummingbird family are some of the MOST difficult to identify in the bird world.
Today I would get much better shots of the hummingbirds as I searched high and low for the female White Eared Hummer.  While the males are pretty easy to pick out, the females and juveniles provide the most difficulty.  A birder once told me that you have to look at the throat, bill, color of the bill, shape of the bill and flight patterns to figure out who is who in the world of hummers.  With only 16 hummers to identify, one would think that easy.....but it's not. Arizona is one of the only places to see all of these hummingbirds in North America. And did you know?  In South America, there are over 200 varieties of hummingbirds?  Talk about a show!
But I would capture my usual suspects.....the Broad Billed and Black Chinned Hummingbirds.
And they were pretty amazing....once again.
I am never disappointed by their grace and dignity:)
But then, I viewed the trees in the area and found my first female.  Green, dark line from eye, and orange bill.  It was a little dark at the end.  The White Eared Hummer?  No.  So it made me think....could birders have mislabeled the bird?  This female is a Broad Billed Hummer.  She has a longer bill than that of the female White Ear.  And let me tell you, I asked birders all around and they were all stumped.  After sitting down at home for several hours comparing pics and using my guide, I am convinced that this is the Broad Billed Female.  The White Ear is similiar but with a shorter bill.   Darn it!
Than I saw this female.  And my heart started racing!!!  Could it be????  No.  This is the Magnificent Female.  Long dark bill. And more have to look at the front of the breast.
Like most of the males in the bird world, they are much more showy with brighter and brilliant colors.  Look at how this male Broad Billed Hummingbird shines a bright blue in the sun.
He is definitely a stunner!
While the females are challenging, I don't feel like this was time lost.  I am quickly learning the names of the hummers with extensive time in the field.  Today I can identify them a little bit more than the last time I wrote from the Chuparosa Challenge.  Stay tuned for more.....


  1. The last pic is superb! Like an angel...
    It is as much fun to take pictures as to do the research.
    Next challenge: a time machine...

  2. Brawo dla Ciebie, że udało Ci się "złapać" aparatem kolibra kobietę i go potrafić zidentyfikować. Pozdrawiam.
    Hooray for you, you were able to "catch" hummingbird camera woman and be able to identify him. Yours.

  3. Identifying hummingbirds is much easier here in Ontario as we have only one variety - the ruby throated. BUT it's not as much fun or as interesting as seeing and identifying 12 species! Your photos are wonderful!

  4. AMAZING shots of the hummingbirds!!
    i have a hard time getting decent pictures of them.

    the one with the iridescent blue chest/throat is gorgeous!!
    the sun glinting on it just perfectly!!

  5. For now I'll enjoy your photos of 12+ hummer species, over trying my hand at our 4-6 hummer species! Looks like it takes a better, digital SLR camera, as opposed to my hand-held.

  6. i do love these photos! so neat to see varieties!

  7. Sometimes you just have to be happy with what you do see. These are all spectacular photos.

  8. Wonderful photos Chris - good luck with remaining challenge :)

  9. Its good challenge Chris, keep at it mate, the 16 will come eventually :-)

  10. You are so dedicated! The hummers in Strawberry were so fun to watch. Haven't a clue to the names of any of them - male or female. A girl's got to know her limitations. :)

  11. Super photos, Chris! Those hummers are fast. I just wanted you to know that I. Am. Working. Again.

    I may not have time to comment but always enjoy stopping by your blog!

  12. Hey magnificent if ambiguous, that's the hummingbird credo!

  13. The birds are so clever... they know where to look for food and water ;-) Rohrerbot, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check it out in my latest post. Have another exciting day!

    1. Thank you Stephanie!! I will be back from out of town after tomorrow. It has been a fun and crazy several weeks. Thanks for reading and the award:) I'll be stopping by your blog soon:)

  14. They're really beautiful Chris and the blue plumage looks lovely glistening in the sun.


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