Thursday, March 1, 2012

Broad-tailed Hummingbird!!

Mega news from Cape May! A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird is currently viewable at a private yard in Cape May. This will represent the first state record for New Jersey of this western species if accepted by the relevant committees.


Thie bird is at a private feeder at 1026 Batts Lane, Cape May. The owner has given permission for birders to visit. The bird can be seen from the front lawn as it often sits in a hydrangea bush on the right hand corner of the house as you view from the road. The feeder is in the side yard to the right of the house. Please do not approach the feeder or the front of the house too closely and you should get views of the bird. IMPORTANT: Batts Lane is a narrow, residential street and the bird is right on a bend in the road. We strongly recommend that you park in nearby Shunpike Road and walk through (it is only about 150 yards). There is ample roadside parking on Shunpike Road. Please respect other local residents who may not understand the ways of us birders!

This hummingbird has been visiting a feeder in Batts Lane, Cape May since late last fall, but has been in juvenile plumage and was presumed to be a Rufous Hummingbird. Indeed, close inspection appeared to confirm that. However, the bird has now molted its tail which is conclusively that of an adult male Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Cape May. Note the full, all dark tail with narrowly pointed tips to the inner feathers. [Photo by Mike Crewe]

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Cape May. The tail shape is just visible here again; also note the extensive green adult feathers on the flanks, replacing the buffy juvenile ones. [Photo by Mike Crewe]

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