Tag Archives: Rufous Hummingbird

Allen's and Rufous Hummingbirds look so similar that sometimes even the most experienced birder can't tell one from the other. I've been advised to just call them Selasphorus Hummingbirds and I'll always be right. Siegfried Matull recently photographed what he believes is an Allen's Hummingbird. Whatever you call them, they sure are beautiful!

These feisty, slightly smaller Hummingbirds migrate through the Mendonoma Coast in the spring and again in fall. They fight with our year round Anna's Hummingbirds, darting here and there like kamakazi pilots. When my chives are in bloom, one of these beauties likes to feed on the purple blossoms.

Thanks to Siegfried for allowing me to share his photo with you here.

It's practically impossible to tell an Allen's Hummingbird and a Rufous Hummingbird apart. Even experienced birders have  difficult time. Let's face it, they look the same to me! Ron LeValley suspects this is a Rufous, as they migrate through our area as this time of year.

If you look closely at Ron's photo, you will see a tiny spider on the hummer's beak. Great shot! Rufous Hummingbirds migrate north as far as Alaska and then return south in the fall - or in the case of the Mendonoma Coast, late summer - sometimes all the way to Central America. Quite a migration for such a tiny bird.

Rufous Hummingbirds are very feisty. Two have shown up in my garden in Anchor Bay. They are having aerial battles with the resident Anna's Hummingbirds. It's quite a show.

To hear the sound of this hummingbird, here's the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/rufous_hummingbird/sounds

Thanks to Ron for allowing me to share his beautiful photo with you here. I can almost hear this hummer's wing beats. To see much more of Ron's photography, here's his website: http://www.levalleyphoto.com/home/


Yes, it is nearly impossible to tell an Allen's Hummingbird from a Rufous Hummingbird. I've been advised to say it's a Selasphorus and then I can't go wrong. Paul Brewer photographed one of these beauties feeding on a Pride of Madera bush at his Gualala home.

Hummingbirds - they are living jewels that visit our gardens. Thanks to Paul for allowing me to share his exquisite photos with you here.