Saturday, August 15, 2009

ID puzzles

The first puzzler is a classic problem, rufous vs Allen's hummingbird. This bird appears to be an adult female given that it has a few red feathers in the center of the gorget. Young males of this group tend to have a few red feathers spreading out laterally per Pyle and suggested by Sibley. Pyle states that hummingbirds may be aged by the presence or absence of corrugations on the surface of the upper mandible of the bill. I don't think any are present, but in looking back at all the hummingbird pics I have in my collection I'm not finding any that show the corrugations.

Unfortunately I never got any shots of the spread tail. This pic is the best I have of the folded tail. If this was a male then I think that the shape of the dark markings might make it more likely to be Allen's; I don't know if the same would apply to females.
Allen's does breed in Southern California, Rufous would be a migrant. I left my Lane SoCal guide in California so I don't have access to the occurrance bar graphs which also might be helpful.
Finally a couple skippers. I think this one is a fiery skipper.

I think this one is an umber skipper, again emphasis on the think.

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