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This hummer was at my backyard feeder in Redlands, California (1 hour west of LA) several times this morning, April 8. I usually get Anna's but am very poor at identifying hummers. This one looks like an Allen's to me. What do real birders think?

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Welcome to Whatbird!

This is an adult male Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird. A small percent of male Rufous show green backs, so I would think that you would need spread tail pics to confirm which one it is.

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1 hour ago, TeriOfRedlands said:

 What do real birders think?

 

Everyone who is interested in birds and cares enough to test their ID skills and wonder about the birds they see is a real birder, no matter if the can tell the difference between a song sparrow and a gold finch or not.

 

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Posted (edited)

I’d say by the extent of green on the back that it is very likely Allen’s, but can’t be 100% certain, especially since you are an hour west of LA (not strictly coastal) and we are near the peak of Rufous Hummer migration right now.

So yeah I’d lean heavily toward Allen’s but a spread tail shot would be definitive

Edited by AlexHenry
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TeriOfRedlands said:

What do real birders think?

 

42 minutes ago, Nivalis said:

Everyone who is interested in birds and cares enough to test their ID skills and wonder about the birds they see is a real birder, no matter if the can tell the difference between a song sparrow and a gold finch or not.

Or,

"How would we know?  If you find some, would you post their contact info for the rest of us?"  :classic_biggrin:

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Allen's breed in the Redlands area, and only a very small minority of Rufous Hummingbirds will have extensive green in the back. I've studied Rufous and Allen's a lot, and I don't think I've ever seen a (pure) Rufous with this much green on the back. You're pretty safe calling this one an Allen's. 

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On 4/8/2020 at 11:45 AM, AlexHenry said:

I’d say by the extent of green on the back that it is very likely Allen’s, but can’t be 100% certain, especially since you are an hour west of LA (not strictly coastal) and we are near the peak of Rufous Hummer migration right now.

So yeah I’d lean heavily toward Allen’s but a spread tail shot would be definitive

If I don't know west from east, I'll never figure out a hummingbird's tail. Why did I say 'west of LA'? That would be somewhere in the Pacific. I'm an hour east, but that still leaves me the same problem. I appreciate your input.

 

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Thank you all who took the time to look at my photos and give me your opinions. I go on a lot of guided birdwalks, but I find that I really learn when I go out on my own and struggle with my own identification. We may not be positive as to whether this is an Allen's or a Rufous, but I learned more from all of your comments than I'd ever learn from a birdwalk where someone else told me what it was while I took a glance at it. I especially appreciate this community while I'm isolating and pretty much cut off from family and friends. Again, thank you so much!

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8 hours ago, TeriOfRedlands said:

Thank you all who took the time to look at my photos and give me your opinions. I go on a lot of guided birdwalks, but I find that I really learn when I go out on my own and struggle with my own identification. We may not be positive as to whether this is an Allen's or a Rufous, but I learned more from all of your comments than I'd ever learn from a birdwalk where someone else told me what it was while I took a glance at it. I especially appreciate this community while I'm isolating and pretty much cut off from family and friends. Again, thank you so much!

When you're on a walk, if time and the size of the group permits, ask the leader what he or she saw that helped ID the bird.  Most walk leaders are happy to go into detail.

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