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Allen's or Rufous and please tell me why.


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#1 BigOly

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:25 PM

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#2 doc

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:38 PM

I'll try this one 'cause I was hit with the same quandry yesterday. I think Allen's 'cause Rufous has an orange back. However, yours has orange mixed in with the green, and I'm not sure where to draw the line. It looks most like the "orange rumped Allen's" in my Sibley guide.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:48 PM

I'd say Allen's. I've never seen one in the field though (though I've seen lots of Rufous), so take it with a grain of salt. There are no all-rufous back feathers, the rufous on the side, rump and face is more chestnut-brown than orange-red. You can't determine the broadness of the outer tail feather, which is too bad. Although it is a subjective identifier, the tail also seems very pointy.

In the Baja Sur I'm assuming? You should really get Matt to weigh in on this one.

EDIT: Doc, your avatar for the new site keeps throwing me of! I keep thinking "Who is this person I've never seen with over 2000 posts?"

#4 BigOly

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:55 PM

Sorry, sorry, I'm on the Oregon coast today.

#5 Platypus

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:00 AM

Sorry, sorry, I'm on the Oregon coast today.

You get around don't you?

In that case, I think there's a good chance my slapshtick ID is wrong. Wait for someone good with hummers!

#6 BigOly

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:43 AM

This is the "go to" site for bird I.D. Some I.D.s can be difficult and just when I think I know a bird's name......I'm wrong. I'd like to get this right.

#7 guy_incognito

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:17 AM

Some may try to argue the finer points about degree or rufous color or orange-rumped etc., but to me there seems to be a large amount of variability, and I wouldn't put much confidence in an ID. The only definite IDs between Rufous and Allen's I know of are: 1. An adult male with all rufous back is a Rufous. 2. A tail shot can ID Allen's vs. Rufous.

Up to 5% of Rufous can show a mostly green back.

Here is an example of an Allen's that I took that some may describe as an orange-rumped Allen's, which can intersect with the appearance of a green-back Rufous. Luckily the tail feathers are the answer in this case.

Posted Image

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#8 Platypus

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:10 AM

Thanks for the explanation guy. Makes perfect sense to me, and aligns well with what I've read.

#9 wildfelco

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:12 AM

guy_incognito

when you said " Luckily the tail feathers are the answer in this case." what were you referring to exactly?
I still need Rufus and I dont have a good understanding of the tail

#10 Platypus

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:53 AM

guy_incognito

when you said " Luckily the tail feathers are the answer in this case." what were you referring to exactly?
I still need Rufus and I dont have a good understanding of the tail

I believe what he was referring to the difference in width of the outer tail feather between the two species.

Rufous Hummingbirds have a broad outer tail feather, as shown here.

Allen's Hummingbirds have a thin outer tail feather, as shown here.

#11 guy_incognito

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:03 AM

On hummingbirds the tail feathers are labeled R1-R5, with R5 being the outer tail feathers. On adult males, Allen's R2 tapers smoothly to a point, while Rufous has a notched inner web. The females are harder, and may be virtually indistinguishable, but Rufous often shows shallow indentation near tip of R2.

On my picture you can see that R2 tapers smoothly, confirming that it is an Allen's rather than a green backed Rufous.

*info from Peterson Field Guides Hummingbirds of North America

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#12 guy_incognito

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:07 AM

Platypus - Yeah, they also talk about the outer (R5) tail feathers, though this is a bit more subjective to me. Allen's are supposed to be thinner than Rufous. In adult males the Allen's is R5 is described as stiletto-like, while Rufous is knife-like.

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#13 Platypus

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:20 AM

Learn something new every day. Thanks for the explanation!

#14 ceylon

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

It is wonderful explanation. Thanks.
New birds 2014. Western Meadowlark-juvenile, Bullock's Oriole, Black-chinned hummingbird, Red-naped Sapsucker, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Vesper Sparrow, Horned Lark, Eared Grebe, Wilson's Phalarope, Swainson's Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow,

<p>My "best" lifers; Golden Eagle and Crested Mynah.New birds 2013; Red Flanked Bluetail (Queen's Park, New Westminster Jan 15, 2013), Gyrfalcon (Hastings Park/Viterra building near Second Narrows, Jan 26, 2013), Brambling (Laurel/17th Feb 5th/2013), Red-naped Sapsucker (west side of Fraserview golf course, in lane by 7878 Vivian, Apr 5/2013). Sora (pond at Colony Farm April 8/13). Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Col Farm May 26/13). Lazuli Bunting and WETA May 2013 Col Farm).New birds 2012; Black throated gray warbler, Cassin's vireo, (Hammond's Flycatcher,Chipping Sparrow were id'd at bird banding station), Vaux Swift, Cliff Swallow, Dowitcher, Merlin, Peregrine, Eastern Kingbird, Spotted Sandpiper, YHBB, Caspian Tern, Purple Martin, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager.

#15 zoutedrop

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:33 AM

Best shot I have of a notched R2 of an after hatch year male Rufous. Obvious when compared to guy_incognito's Allen's.

Posted Image

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