Friday, October 09, 2009

Calliope Hummingbird!

I just watched a male Calliope Hummingbird at my mom's backyard feeder! Lifer! I didn't have time to get the camera before he zoomed off, but you can bet I'll be watching for him from now on. I'd only seen a female before, and I couldn't tell whether it was a Ruby-Throated or a more exotic but just as likely Black-Chinned. According to the guides, both females look pretty much identical.

I've set up my spotting scope in the dining room, near a window from which my dad removed the screen for me, with the scope trained on the hummer feeder. My mom has been delighted with the results, watching the mostly female hummers visit at almost regular times during each day. She called me over from my pancakes this morning, saying that there was a new hummer feeding -- and sure enough, the long chin stripes confirmed the ID. It was too cloudy to see the red; they just looked like long thin dark streaks, but still -- woo-hoo!

I started re-reading Kenn Kaufman's Kingbird Highway last night, and I was amused to find that I shared his attitude about traveling and moving around the country; he thought only about what new birds he'd be able to see in the new landscape, never about the difficulty of the transitions. That's pretty much what's been keeping my spirits up in this time of constant change and (so far, at least) disappointment.

What's also helped is the sweet and encouraging comments of all you bloggy pals. I sure hope to be able to deliver some good news on the job front soon.

Niblet's taken to hiding under the bed for most of the day, much to my disappointment. His grandma has been spoiling him something fierce, giving him carrots along with his usual veggies (cilantro, parsley, and broccoli stems). He'll come out, grab the carrot, and dash back under the bed. Some grandson he is; he won't even allow her to pet him! I fear he's been a little depressed without Matty's attentions, but he seems physically fine.

73 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I should check out that book, as this is how I also think. All future vacations will be planned around getting new lifers.

Good luck with everything. You're in my thoughts!

Matty Boy said...

Best wishes from the other California Matty! I hope you can figure out how to get back out here soon.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Maybe your Mom could try to bribe him with a strawberry or raisins. I know they weren't on the healthy rabbit eating list, but Buddy used to do just about anything for a Vanilla Wafer!

Hang in there Delia. With your family's support don't let your spirits get down. Something good is coming for you. I can feel it in my bones!

John said...

Congrats on the Calliope! That's a bird I would love to watch. I think you'll be getting plenty more good birds while in Texas. Maybe you should take a trip to the RGV.

TinaG said...

A Calliope Hummingbird in San Antonio is a hot bird. Would you please share your report with the San Antonio Audubon Society? There was a Calliope Hummingbird seen recently in Austin and posted on the Texas Rare Bird Alert website; your Calliope and this would be a very important sighting to report. San Antonio Audubon has a web page for rarity sightings and other contact numbers to phone. Go to the website at http://saaudubon.org/

Tina Gilson
San Antonio, TX

Earl Cootie said...

We get Calliopes in the eastern half of Washington, but I haven't seen one in the past few years. And you're getting them right outside your window! Very exciting!

My parents really want us to visit them in the Houston area. (And I hope we get to do so next year.) They've been mentioning all the birding locations right around them to try to tempt me. Haha!

dguzman said...

Elizabeth--it's a great read! Very inspiring, and you get some interesting info on good birding places around the country, though some of them are no longer accessible (the author did his Big Year in the early 1970s).

Matty Boy--thank you.

Lynne--Oh, good--thanks for the tips! Thanks so much--I'm trying to stay confident. It's only been a week--maybe I'll start getting calls.

John--I'm cooking up at least one trip to the coast, maybe Aransas Pass/Rockport, around Thanksgiving. And I need to go to the Valley, definitely. I just wish my parents still lived in Harlingen.

Tina--I'll check that out, though I doubt I can put the exact location or my parents would not be pleased! I'm going to stake out the feeder tomorrow to get a photo.

Earl--Oh man, you could hit the coast south of Houston--Galveston and southward--and get all kinds of stuff! Come on down!

Beth said...

Wow - a cool lifer to welcome you to another phase in your life. Hang in there and keep blogging - I love to read your posts and hear what is happening with you and Niblet.

Beth

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