Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Chuparosa Challenge-When You Wish Upon a Star

 It had been a long summer of chasing a dream.  One that would drive me mad until the goal was achieved.  The shots today are not anything special....or are they?  At first glance, the male Rufous hummingbird shines bright and true.  "You'll know it when you see it."
"You'll know it when you see it."  I kept repeating that line over and over.  I certainly saw the Rufous and his golden glow in the sunlight. But hello there.....who are you to the far left?
"You'll know it when you see it."  I went to every canyon for you and suffered bites all over my body....and not find you.  I look for you in the middle of nowhere and almost got killed by illegal crossers.  I even gave up on you. 
"You'll know it when you see it."  A man doing a "Big Year" came to find you and he did.  I missed you by minutes one day.  Many people missed you and waited and searched and searched for you.
I thought I had seen you once.  I submitted your photo to the rare bird gurus and they told me that I'd know you when I saw you.  I had a picture of something else.   Do I glance you now on the feeder?  Larger than the rest.  Please stay long enough so that I can get a clear shot.  You are the final hummingbird to see for this season.
And I do spy you behind that feeder.  Please come out more.  I know you'll only be around for a very short time. 
Do you know how many nights I couldn't sleep until I found you?
And in your grand shadow and starry gorget I only hope to see you clearly.
Please let the other hummers stop chasing you off.  My heart is beating as fast as yours right now.
And then you chase a female off showing your white feathered back......
......your profile shows the long dark bill.........
......the feeder shows me that you are very large for a hummingbird.......
.......and your gorget shows a dark thick streak of pink........and I know that I've finally found you.  Like a great finale to a beloved TV series, I sigh and smile sharing the briefest of inner applauses inside my head.  I did it!  I spotted rare rare Plain Capped Starthroat.
I have moved from beginner to low intermediate birder. But please don't quiz me on my buntings, sparrows, or other little bitty flycatchers:)  I'm still studying this group and many others. Today ends the Chuparosa(Hummingbird) challenge for this year.  It was exciting.  Frustrating.  And always educational.  On this day I would suffer over a hundred chigger bites on my feet waiting for this bird.  It was the worst pain that I've felt for this year.  But the price was well worth it.  Two more posts on hummingbirds.  One which includes this years photography stats.  I hope you enjoy the shots.  They were collected from many many hours of observations.  I'd like to thank Warren for planting this series into my brain.  Because of this challenge, I discovered many of our beautiful canyons and just how unique they all are.  I'll be moving into the grasslands soon with Kathie.  Just a few of the many bloggers who inspire me to be a better person everyday.  Thank you all for your own work from your part of the world. More tomorrow.....


  1. Always very nice to see these lovely bird pictures.

    Greetings, Joop

  2. Love these little cuties! Well done on getting these beautiful pictures!

  3. One wszystkie są śliczne, niezależnie od koloru i wielkości, czy to pan czy pani. Cudowne zdjęcia, kocham te ptaki. Pozdrawiam.
    They are all beautiful, regardless of the color and size, whether it's you or you. Wonderful photos, I love these birds. Yours.

  4. Wonderful shots...
    Congratulation to capture this rare hummingbird with your camera. A lifer for you!! In Toronto, Canada we have only the Rufous Hummingbirds in our garden. Love the little birds. Noticed the plastic dome over the feeder. Good idea, thanks.

  5. Congratulations Chris, he really is a handsome chap isn't he.

  6. Your patience paid off,and it's so rewarding when this happens.They are such clear sharp images too, well done!! I did'nt know the Plain
    Capped Starthroat,he's quite a little star.

  7. Lovely post Chris and well done on finally seeing and getting a photo of that hummer. Have really enjoyed following you on your Challenge - thanks so much for sharing. So glad you are getting so much fun and enjoyment out of birding :) Shame about the bites you suffered though :(
    Enjoy your time with butterflies today!!

  8. Congratulations! That plain-capped starthroat is huge and very unique looking. Now on to the next challenge. (Scratch, scratch, itch, itch;)

  9. Congratulations Chris. Your perseverance paid off and you got some great shots.

  10. how awesome for you to see this elusive one!

  11. Hi Chris, for several reasons I have struggled with blogging recently but am thrilled to have dropped in here today to find you have completed your hummer challenge, congratulations, very well done!! I have really enjoyed this series about these delightful little birds which I find completely fascinating. The photos are lovely!

    Hope a have a great time with the butterflies and a lovely vacation too.

  12. Glad you finally got your bird! I know more about hummers now than I ever did because of your visits to the canyons, bug bites and chiggers.

  13. Nunca tive a oportunidade de ver tantos beija-flores juntos sem brigar... eles são tão territorialistas!...

    Bom domingo!
    Boa semana!

    °º✿Beijinhos do Brasil.
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

  14. Fantastic,
    I know how it feels to get the bird you want, mot neccassarily a rare one, but one you've been after for a long time.

    Well done Chris, an exciting post!

  15. Congratulations Chris. You are part of a very small number of birders who've seen a Starthroat, an you got so many other great Hummers this year. It's been a pleasure to ride along. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Congratulations Chris. I have virtually no experience of hummingbirds, but even I can see that that one is very special! So glad that you managed to get some great pictures.

  17. So exciting! I really am thrilled for you and so appreciate you sharing it with us!

  18. Well Done!! You're a lot braver than I - there's only crocodiles, snakes and spiders to keep me from the birds down here ...

  19. A flock of geese, a parliament of owls, a murder of crows. Another chuparosa challenge: What do you call a group of hummingbirds?

  20. Well done, fantastic images, thanks for sharing!

    Gaz: Alternative Eden

  21. That was really fun my friend! And what a beautiful hummer! I've never seen one before! Amazing photos!


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