This from a listserve frequented by hummingbird researchers. The author is a hummingbird bander in Pennsylvania
Today I received a note from Sandy Lockerman,
one of our PA humbanders, that the immature male Rufous which has been in
Hanover, York Co PA, since approximately October 10th (2011) was last observed
April 2, 2012.
This is historic news. This Rufous, which was reported to
be molting new orange body and gorget feathers during his last week in PA, is
now the first documented Rufous known to be in Pennsylvania in April. Our
Westmoreland Co Rufous which was the first ever documented overwinterer and
first documented returnee was known to have stayed from Oct '97 until late
March (and possibly early April) of '98, but since the hostess was away for a
week, a possible April departure date in that case couldn't be confirmed.
We also have another Rufous, an immature female in
Chester Co which might have stayed until April 2 as well, but I'm still waiting
for pix and further info on that hummer.
Notice, the York County record is a bird that had been around right through the winter months.
Pretty neat findings so close to my area of the United States. I will be on the lookout just in case?
But Mark, if I should see an unusual hummingbird in this area (not an obviously Ruby-T) then who would you recommend I notify first?
If I contacted you; it sounds like your professional reach goes far & wide in the USA? How does that work exactly?
MDgreenery:But Mark, if I should see an unusual hummingbird in this area (not an obviously Ruby-T) then who would you recommend I notify first?
The best way to deal with a new or uncertain bird of any kind is:
Take as many notes as you can including
date and time
what binoculars you are using
anyone else present who saw the bird
This should be done without consulting with anyone else present and without consulting books.
Then, take as many photos from different angles, and any other recordings you can make that might help with the identification (video and/or audio.) Next, contact as many good birders as you can and get as many as possible to come over and see the bird. At this point your hopes may be shattered (mine have been many times) or you may be very pleasantly surprised if they confirm what you are seeing.
Your notes and photos should at least be copied to the committee responsible for tracking bird records within your state (your local Audubon Society should be able to help or google your state and bird records). This will get your record, if it is good, into the scientific literature, though it sometimes takes a while.
If anyone is ever interested in having a hummingbird banded, I would be happy to try to put you in contact with a bander in your state.
Thank you for the details Mark. I have copied your advice into my personal notes & will reference them if/when I ever spot an unusual flier.
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