Rufio the Rufous Hummingbird













It was early September and we were eating dinner and Forest was in his usual eat a bite-turn around to look outside mode and he said he spotted a hummingbird that was red. We figured he had just seen the ruby part of a ruby-throated and didn’t think much about it. The next morning I was working upstairs and had a glimpse of the now dead mimosa tree that the hummingbirds always love to perch on and saw something rust colored. It sat there long enough for me to realize Forest really did mean a completely red bird, not just a throat. Chris was out in the field somewhere and I took some bad phone photos and sent it off to him because I wasn’t familiar with many hummingbirds. He mentioned it could be a rufous and after I got a better photo and sent it to him he agreed. So did iNaturalist once I ran a rough photo through there! What a great change for hummingbird migration season!

It was easy to identify one of the birds because of the wayward feather on the back of his neck and we ended up calling him Rufio. He had a friend (and sometimes enemy because they would run each other off from the feeders) along with the ruby-throateds that came through and stuck around for several weeks. I haven’t seen them in a week or two so they must have moved on further south to somewhere warmer.

I hope we get to see them again next year, even if it isn’t our particular friend Rufio.


  • shoreacres

    Neat! I put up a couple of feeders this year, and got some birds, but I haven’t been able to get any photos of them that were more than a blurry tail feather. I don’t have the patience for it, for one thing. Sitting around waiting for them to show up isn’t on my to-do list. And, when the do arrive, they only stay a few seconds before buzzing off to the cypress trees they like to perch in. Maybe next year — they seem to have disappeared at this point. I’m assuming they moved on with our north winds.

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