Hummingbird Trifecta

An immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Castellow Hammock.

An immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Castellow Hammock.

Immature male Rufous Hummingbird.

Immature male Rufous Hummingbird.

Today I headed to the east coast for an excursion I’ve been planning for several weeks. When we returned home last November, I immediately found a report of a BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD at Castellow Hammock in Homestead, Florida. This is a place I bird frequently on my trips to Florida. It is one of the best spots in the state for hummingbirds. Eventually, two birds were confirmed among the many Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds there. We returned to Florida in April, following the Buff-bellied Hummers throughout the winter. You guessed it, the birds were last seen just a week before our return in April. This fall, I was pleased to hear that both birds had returned, this time just weeks before our trip. I anxiously awaited my trip to Castellow, hoping the birds would remain. It was a great day of hummingbirds! I reported at least 10 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, but in reality there could have been twice that many! Rufous Hummingbirds were present too! I found my first bird in the trees at the entrance to the park. As I watched it, I heard a second Rufous. They eventually met in a less than friendly encounter. As is so typical of all the hummers, all they did was fight. I spent quite a bit of time searching the park with many hummers seen. When I had arrived, it was shortly after noon and the office was closed. The sign said it would reopen at 1pm. I got so involved with the hummers I was seeing that I didn’t notice until 1:30 that the office was open again. I went over and spoke with a wonderful young woman in charge. She said she could show me the Buff-bellied without a problem. We walked out the front door of the office and she took me right to it. It was near the Shrimp Plant planting just twenty feet from the office. I had checked this spot earlier, but missed the bird. She left me with it, trying for better and better photos. I actually believe there were two. She had informed me that two had again been confirmed. As I watched the one, I heard the same calls from across the thicket. The BUHU immediately reacted by flying to the other side of the thicket. I then heard considerable chatter. A couple minutes later the bird returned. It was a great afternoon of hummingbird study and I was glad to add Buff-bellied Hummingbird to my Florida State list. My Florida list now stands at 285!

An immature male Rufous Hummingbird.

An immature male Rufous Hummingbird.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

My main target of the day, Buff-bellied Hummingbird!

My main target of the day, Buff-bellied Hummingbird!

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2 Responses to Hummingbird Trifecta

  1. kate hyden says:

    Grew up in Hialeah and went to FSU in Florida and never saw a hummingbird of any kind until I was on the rooftop of an NYC Westside penthouse… thought it was a gigantic bee! You lucky ducky to see 3 different species! I miss the little guys already.

  2. I know what you mean Kate. That’s why I like to get a dose of them when I’m down here. It sure does make it special when they return in the spring though. We can look forward to that!

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