Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Chuparosa Challenge-Magnificent!

Black Chinned Hummingbird
Greetings all!!!  This post is dated on May 5th, 2012 in Carr Canyon near Sierra Vista.   There has been a reported sighting of a Lucifer Hummingbird near a secluded Bed and Breakfast.  I went to find the place and discovered that no one was I decided not to stay.  So I moved onto a busier area in the Carr Canyon region. This hummingbird challenge is fun because you get to sit watching feeders and talking to people.   It's probably one of the easier challenges once you find the place.   The tricky part is finding the places and of course....the photography.  Hummers are extremely fast.  For me it's gotta be a legit sighting for it to count.  And I need to observe the flight patterns etc for it to work. 
Of course the trickier part still is the identification of the female hummer.  Most of the females are tricky to distinguish from one another making me ponder the bigger question....."How do the males tell the females apart?"
While searching for the Lucifer, the Black Chinned Hummers flew around in great numbers.  Most people consider these hummers to be "boring".  To be honest, I think they are my favorite.  And I think they are quite I hope I captured this small bird to show you all how beautiful he really is.  If you look closer, you'll also notice just enough purple to give this little guy color.
But alas, I had already accomplished my goal of snapping shots of the Black Chinned Hummingbird.  Where was the Lucifer???
A sudden burst of blue....AND LARGE....flew into my line of sight and at first I thought it may have been the Broad Billed Hummer.  But on closer examination, I discovered the Magnificent Hummingbird!!!!  It was on the list of "Must Sees!"
The Magnificent Hummingbird
And this guy was quite large compared to the other hummers visiting the feeder......the chin up is blue with a longer black bill.
He disappeared rather quickly and I waited for awhile chatting with Mike at the Carr House.  It was a nice afternoon in the cooler canyon breezes. 
As I was getting ready to go home, the Magnificent came back and allowed me to capture several shots without flight involved.  Here you can see the dark bill and darker blues and purples. 
Are you looking to do some hummingbird investigation?  Here are some hints that help me out while in the field.  I like to wear bright red or blue shirts.  It seems to call their names.  Also find an area that hummers like to congregate canyons, bed and breakfasts, etc.  Wherever there is a feeder, you'll find hummers:)  Several birders bring their own feeders on trips to attract the hummingbirds to their cabin!!!  Brilliant idea!
So to date, I've seen the Magnificent Hummingbird, Broad Billed Hummingbird, Black Chinned Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird and the Anna's Hummingbird. 
And here's a visual review of what I've snapped....
Anna's Hummingbird
The Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds are year round residents here in Tucson.  The Anna's have a pink head while the Costa's have a purple head.
Costa's Hummingbird

Broad Billed Hummingbird
And of course this is the Broad Billed Hummingbird.  Orange bill and lighter blue tones. I'm still on the hunt for more interesting hummers. I have so many more to find and as the summer heats up, they'll be hanging out in the cooler areas around the feeders.  Stay tuned for more from this series!
Cool pic.  Found this online at this blog.  How many do you recognize?


  1. You saw quite a few and got some great captures.

    I didn't put my feeders out this year, but hear them buzzing about.

  2. Lovely shots of these Hummingbirds....well done Chris.

  3. LOL - at first glance all I saw in the title was something about what looked to be Cuprachabra Hummingbirds. Then I put my glasses on and gave a sigh of relief.

    My backyard is loaded now with all manner of Lady's Locket and various Columbines. Yet it is naked without Hummingbirds. Oh we do get regular visits from the wild types of various Bumble Bees, but it's still not the same without Hummers.

    I love that area of Sierra Vista. Alot of our relatives live there on the lands across from the Ramsey & Carr Canyon turnoffs. The very first time I visited over there in 1985, I told myself - "I could definitely live here"



  4. 5 down Chris ;-)
    I think these little hummers are great, oh to have a few here. but I dont think they would survive the damp and sunless conditions !

    1. The summer is my only window to get the rest of them. By the end of June and into July, during our Monsoon season, I think I will be able to nab the Violet Crowned. It comes to our property and hangs out for several weeks every year. It's a simple looking hummer that reminds me of a dolphin. So I'm crossing my fingers:)

  5. Great photos Chris. They are such lovely little birds - you are so lucky over there to be able to see them in the wild. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

  6. Replies
    1. This is great Kevin!!! So true so true!!! The Indian Paintbrush is one of my favorites of the wildflowers. It's heavily found all over the place.....up on Mt. Lemmon especially!

  7. Awesome! way to go Chris. That's a terrific bird, one still on my must-see list too.

    1. I am still hunting for the Lucifer, Broad Tailed and White Eared hummers. They have been reported in areas but I am on a time crunch and don't have the chance to get to these places earlier in the morning. The hummers are out at the crack of down, but surprisingly the Broad Bill and Black Chinned(including the Magnificent) have been heavilyl out during the mid afternoon. My goal is to get the Ruby Throated up in Wisconsin this next week. This is the only one that does not stop in Arizona. All it requires is time with my Grandma in her little wooded area, some Bloody Mary's, and some good laughs. And the camera. Hopefully I'll be able to operate the equipment!:)

  8. really awesome, chris! so thrilling to see all these varieties! LOVE that large magnificent!

  9. Oh to have them here...sigh!!! I just love them, you are so lucky!! I can see why the Magnificent is so called, very appropriate.

  10. You are amassing quite a collection! Superb shots, Chris.

  11. Amazing photos of the hummers. Here it's EASY to tell what kind of hummingbird it is as the only kind here (except for the occasional rufous) is the ruby-throated. I like a challenge that includes sitting and talking to other birders as you wait for the hummingbirds to appear, though :)

  12. Qué bonitos picaflores o colibris.. Yo quiero unoooo!!!.. :-)

  13. Excellent!! its hard to get a clear shot of those little guys.

  14. Wonderful post on the hummers. I have not seen a hummer that I didn't love. They are all beautiful. The females are tricky to id. I enjoyed your photos and the post.

  15. Fabulous photos, a reward for your persistence, determination...and enthusiasm :)

  16. This is something I could do even this time of year. I need to call Tracy. You're doing a great job on your search!

  17. What great photos! We saw a lot of hummingbirds on our recent trip. The lodge we stayed at has feeders near the patios and it was so fun to watch them zoom around like little fighter jets. We also saw many on a hike up a mountain pass. To see them in nature was really nice. I didn't have any luck catching one flying with the camera, but have some nice perched shots.


Thanks for stopping by!