Allen’s Hummingbird Female & Fledgling

I hope hummingbirds read Wikipedia – because according to the information there, this must be a Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin). Wikipedia also says that the females are extremely difficult to differentiate from Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufous) – except for the range!

Since we’re here in San Diego, and a chick/fledgling would indicate “breeding”, this must be an Allen’s, since the Rufous is here only as a migratory visitor. Simple, eh? I just hope they respect their range, as defined in Wikipedia. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This was also a first in our backyard. We’re seeing plenty of Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anne) buzzing around here, and had a nest in one of our lemon trees a few years ago. In a pine tree, we also had a nest of Black-chinned Hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri).

But we haven’t had any Allen’s Hummingbirds here, and seeing one with a fledgling was a treat. The little one must have left the nest not too long ago. It started buzzing its wings, a little bit like a sputtering outboard motor, made it onto a small twig and rested there, waiting for mother to arrive with more “fuel”, apparently.

They didn’t mind our presence too much while this was going on and I was able to grab the camera, mount Big Bertha (the 200-500mm lens), and make a few photos, of which the one below turned out best.

With the help of Topaz’s Sharpen AI (indistinguishable from magic for me), I added some sharpness to the female, as it was slightly outside of the range of acceptable sharpness at 500mm and f/5.6 (this was at ISO 3200 already as the two birds were in the shade of some bushes in the morning).

3 thoughts on “Allen’s Hummingbird Female & Fledgling

  1. Very nice, Alex! I love the interaction between the two birds. We have Anna’s and Rufous coming to feeders but I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing any young birds. And if I did, I’d be very lucky to get any photos at all, let alone one like this. I got curious and looked up the range of Rufous, since we have it here too. It seems that they should only be in your area during migration, not breeding. Allen’s is also supposed to migrate through the San Diego area and sometimes overwinter. Complicated! Have you checked ebird for other sightings? (Luckily, Allen’s doesn’t come this far north so we can be pretty sure our rusty guys are Rufous. One of the good things about living up here is having fewer species to learn!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha… I pretty much knew this would happen. ๐Ÿ˜› My bird ID skills are terrible. Maybe I’ll just call them Allenous, or Rullen Hummingbird?

      I did some word-switching and corrected the article. Thanks, Lynn!

      Liked by 1 person

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