How to spot a Hummingbird

May 22, 2010

I’ve never before seen a Hummingbird in Missouri, and when I’ve seen them in California, they were always at about my height, visiting the flowers….so my first sighting of one of these birds high up on a tree in Forest Park, was a bit of a surprise!

Here’s Hummingbird-Spotting 101:

First,though it's a rainy, grey, overcast day, you go to Forest Park to look for the Great Horned Owl babies, which have fledged.... owlet 3? 130510 There, you chance upon Mark Glenshaw, who helps you locate the beautiful owlets: owlet 1 130510 You also photograph him holding up a couple of fallen owl feathers: mark with owl feathers 130510 At this point, you look up into the grey skies and the rain (you've already squelched your way through water and mud for those owls), and you see this: where the hummingbird is 130510 "What's that tiny spot high up on the tree!" you think, and concentrate: hmbrd 2 fp 130510 The tiny spot looks like a bird... hmgbd 3 130510 ...and you realize, with a thrill, that this black smudge against a grey sky is, in fact, you very first

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (though in the rain it’s a Black Blotch Hummingbird):

hmgbd 4 130510 fp

Here’s a GOOD shot of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (taken by Danny Brown , who’s one of the most helpful people I’ve met here!):

db r t hummingbird 220510 shaw nature reserve

Much pleased with your sightings of the GHO’s and the RTH, you slosh home happily in your sodden shoes.

Update: on the 22nd, I saw another of these beauties at the Muny:

rth bird 3 muny

This post is dedicated to another hmmngbird.