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AlexHenry

Female Hummer Question

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I assumed this was an Anna's, but then I noticed clean white undertail coverts... thoughts?

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Where I am if it is not a Ruby-throated it is not a Hummingbird, makes life simple.

Just for my own education I took a look and and I'm leaning to sub-adult male Costa's - vertical eye line, wing projection, stubby neck, whitish underparts, shortish bill, pale grey auriculars BUT not seeing a white supercilium so looking forward to the opinions of experts.

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The six options this could be. They are: Anna's, Costa's, Black Chinned, and Calliope, Rufous, and Allen's. 

Calliope, Rufous, and Allen's would stand out in the field by their tiny size, hard to get them confused with an Anna's.

That means we're down to Anna's, Costa's, Black-chinned.

Black-chinned can be eliminated by this birds very short bill.

That means we're down to Costa's vs Anna's.

Anna's would have a more greenish stomach, shorter wing projection, and no gray cheek patch.

That leads me to the conclusion that this is a Costa's. It's an odd bird, with some markings on the throat. Due, to the time of year, it's  probably a young male who hatched this year and is just starting to grow its gorget.

 

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20 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

@Charlie Spencer, despite my response being ignored I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I put in a bit of an effort and nailed the  ID, three hours earlier than Connor.

I was just really impressed with Conner's process of elimination.  As a network admin, I admire any flow of logic.

 

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3 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I was just really impressed with Conner's process of elimination.  As a network admin, I admire any flow of logic.

With a civil engineering background I have to agree on the very nicely laid out approach by Connor/Poirot.

In my case it may have been closer to "chaos theory", bouncing backwards and forwards in Sibley until I came to the same conclusion.

8 hours ago, RobinHood said:

sub-adult male Costa's - vertical eye line, wing projection, stubby neck, whitish underparts, shortish bill, pale grey auriculars BUT not seeing a white supercilium

Pretty much the same reasoning but still a little puzzled by the lack of a white supercilium.

Can you tell I am milking this (maybe compensating for my numerous incorrect IDs in the past).

I will now go away to bask in my short term glory.

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5 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

 

Pretty much the same reasoning but still a little puzzled by the lack of a white supercilium.

 

Costa's can have very short, and thin superciliums, sometimes almost appearing like they are lacking them. Also, in the second image, the light is hitting right where the white supercillum should be.

You do bring up a good point, as I said earlier that this is a very weird Costa's. There is a chance that this could be a Anna's x Costa's Hybrid, which are showing up fairly frequently around California. The throat looks slightly off for a Costa's. Attached below are some links to some hybrids. 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S44480238

https://ebird.org/checklist/S39239356

I might send these photos to others to hear their opinion on this being a hybrid bird. 

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12 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Costa's can have very short, and thin superciliums, sometimes almost appearing like they are lacking them.

The links are very interesting - you may have spurred me on to do a west coast visit when things calm down.

As a photographer I see a hint of a white supercilium in the first photo (foliage is so annoying) and somewhat more than a hint in the second photo, despite the lighting.

I wonder if @AlexHenry has any more images?

I suspect I should not be involved in this debate. However I don't recall if we have any resident Hummingbird experts.

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I appreciate the help!

I sent the picture to one of the local eBird reviewers. Since Costa's are pretty rare in my area, generally the reviewers like very solid documentation to confirm a female Costa's, such as photos of a female with purple spots on the throat, or recordings of vocalizations. I'm not sure my mediocre photos are totally conclusive... but this bird does look good for Costa's, so I guess we'll see what happens.

 

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18 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

to confirm a female Costa's

I think Connor and I (in my case purely from guide books) both felt this was a sub-adult male, explaining the incoming throat markings, but I know your expertise is several levels above mine so I will (try to) refrain from further involvement.

The only concern seemed to be the somewhat vague white supercilium (discussed by Connor) but I personally  think it is reasonably defined in your photos.

I would be interested to know the outcome.

Regards.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

I think Connor and I (in my case purely from guide books) both felt this was a sub-adult male, explaining the incoming throat markings, but I know your expertise is several levels above mine so I will (try to) refrain from further involvement.

 

Oops just a mistake. I believe that its a young male. I suppose I meant to say any plumage other than adult male

Edited by AlexHenry

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I'm going to hop in and say that this looks like a pretty standard Costa's Hummingbird to me. I see them all the time here in Phoenix, and this is definitely a juvenile male- throat markings can really vary and I really don't feel like this is unusual for Costa's. Also worth noting the short tail and long wingtips.

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