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flight by passing cars....fairly Inactive. Length of observation: approximately
40 minutes. Weather: slightly overcast at times, light was very good. Binocs
2343 used...7x35, 8x40, 16x50. Bird was observed at about 30 to 40 feet, as well
as flying 10 to 15 feet In front of car. Conclusion: Red and black spot on bill,
the yellow-green legs, and Intermediate size indicate a mature California Gull.
—P. D. Hulce
ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD: Lake Jackson—(DDec. I8-Feb. 6, Ann Atkins, m.ob.
Observed at feeder outside kitchen window with 7x50 binocs and 20x scope...distance
to feeder for binocs 16-18 ft., for scope 20-25 ft. It is a complete sale bird
total throat....with very rufous tall, rump, sides and breast. Its back, back of
neck, crown and shoulders Irridescent bronzy green. Where the rust of the rump and
the green on the back join there is a very distinct line of demarcation In a U shape.
There Is rust that comes from around the eye on down behind it and fades In+o the
edges of the green at neck. There Is a very, very tiny white spot a+ the upper back
of +he eye. Be+ween the dark +hroa+ and rufous breast is a very white collar that
extends way around the neck to the green on back of neck. The taiI is very sharp
pointed and the tip and edges look darker, or black. His wings are dark and look
short...the tail extending way past (about l/2"-3/4"). The rufous on the breast or
belly is ail the way across. His legs and bill are black. When he files from the
feeder his wings make a high pitched me+allic sound +ha+ Is different from the Rufous that have been here earlier. When his throat flashes It Is a bright copper or
orangy red. I have been observing this bird since he arrived Dec. 18, with binocs
and scope, and he hasn't changed at all. —Ann Atkins
On Sunday, January 27, Fred Collins, Ted Eubanks, Jr. and I (Jim Morgan) attempted
to net this bird in order to count and measure Its tail feathers as well as observe
them for any slnuatlon or notching. We also were hoping for detailed In-hand photographs of the bird. Unfortunately, our attempts to net the bird failed. The bird
did encounter the net but it was not captured. Without measurements and photographs
no documentary evidence can be offered on this bird at this time. Bird was observed
during cumulafive time of at least 10 minutes over 2 1/2 hour period in fair to very
good light, with frontal, side and back views obtained. Binocs used...8x, 8l5x and
I Ox plus 20x scope...at 15 ft. to 40 ft.
This was a very beautiful, presumably full adult male bird. It had a completely developed red gorget; moderateIy-to-sIIghtly decurved all black bill; completely
bright green crown and back of head extending down to, and including, some of the
nape; eye surrounded below and post ocularly by rufous, such rufous extending back
onto nape but becoming much less extensive fowards mid-nape (I.e., gradually tapering to a fine line which terminated on nape); upper and middle back of bird extensively bright green with only one noticeable rufous "fleck" or spot on the back which
was only noticeable from a side view; upper tail coverts and tail entirely rufous;
flahks rufous; rufous noticed on body or on wing coverts just above folded wings;
upper breast white, becoming whitish to rufous-buff on belly and undertail coverts;
back view showed green back terminating on upper tail coverts in a "U" or "horseshoe" pattern which was well defined and clear cut; back view also showed a thin
tail width when folded, with tail tapering noticeably +o a point. Size and shape of
individual tail fea+hers Impossible to discern.
The most noticeable and "different" characteristic about this bird was its tapering
tail. We later viewed that same day what we assumed was an Immature male SelaiphoAu
sp. which had a much broader tall. Fred Collins spotted this feature first as he
had a direct b?ck view^when the bird came to the feeder Its first time while Ted and
I were looking from the side. Fred said that possibly the two outer rectrlces could
be missing (some stage of molt and replacement) o£ it could be characteristic of the
Allen's. We do not know If the latter is true or not. I talked to Guy McCaskie (a
well-known California birder who Is often consulted on Identification problems of
Western birds. Ed.) and he said you can not notice any difference In a folded ,
Allen's or Rufous tail. Also, McCaskie said that an occasional rufous feather In the
rump or back of an Allen's would not be unusual, in addition, McCaskie said he has
seen Rufous adult males with green on the back, but only confined to the upperback
and never extensive. The bird at the Atkins' home has an extens1ve green back. McCaskie also mentioned that he was aware of an Allen's collected recently In Louisiana
(the specimen Is at LSU) and he suggested I contact Van Remson, now Curator of Birds
a+ LSU Museum of Na+ural Science.
I did contact Van Remson and he was very helpful. He agreed with alI of Guy McCas-
kie's comments, and told me that LSU now has 3_ specimens, taken in the last three
years. Each bird was a wintering bird and one of the birds is somewhat "questionable" based on tall feather measurements. Remson pointed out that 5% of Rufous
Hummingbirds have green on the back, and even though the Atkins' bird is "probably"