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Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Feisty and Colorful Rufous Hummingbird

It's only April, and I've been seeing the Rufous hummingbird here in Oregon since March.   These colorful tiny hummingbirds are enjoyable to watch, and don't mind buzzing around you to get where they are going!
Rufous Hummingbird
The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) is the most common hummingbird found in Oregon, and are one of the smallest and the most aggressive hummingbirds in all of North America.  They will stand up to birds many times their size.  They also migrate further than any of the other hummingbirds, sometimes as far as 2000 miles.
Male Rufous Hummingbird

Males have a rusty colored crown. The more common males have a orange colored back, but a small percentage do have a green back. Their tails are orange with black tips.
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird
The females are just a little bit larger than the male, and their head and back are green in color.  Their belly is mostly white with some green. Their gorget (throat) is a whitish color, which may have some orange/red in the middle. The female tail has a mix of rust at the base of the tail, dark in the center, and white tips on the outer feathers.
Female Rufous Hummingbird

In certain lighting, these aggressive little birds glow!
Their wings do not reach their tail when perched.
Juveniles look like the females, but without as much bright colors.  
Happy Bird Watching!

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