Cesar Chavez - possible Ruby-Throated Hummingbird


I recognize this is a great rarity for California (some 20 records) with no records in Alameda County, but the more I review my pictures the more I feel I should put the word out.

Yesterday (8/29) around noon a hummingbird caught my attention while birding in the wooded portion of Cesar Chavez park. It seemed small. I thought that was enough to warrant a better look so I waited for about 15 minutes. As I was about to give up a hummingbird came back and, even in flight, it immediately seemed different with a noticeable white extending somewhat around from the neck to the back. It landed and I took a series of images. In reviewing the images I believe this bird is a candidate for a female type RTHU. While I haven't written a full report and haven't considered all of the characters in support of, or against, RTHU, I do note the following: Forked tail (not a mark for Anna's, but is a mark for female RTHU), white eye spot limited to area behind the eye (white in Anna's should wrap above the eye and to the beak), rufous in the leg area (is this ever noted in Anna's?), white lightly marked throat and no spotting in throat area as expected with adult Anna's, stout straight bill (not good for Black-chinned). Juvenile Anna's generally lacks spotting in the throat area, but the length and stoutness of the bill of this bird appears to eliminate juvenile Anna's. It's not immediately clear from my photos whether the outer four primaries appear broader than the inner six primaries, a mark that would eliminate all but BCHU and RTHU.

You can view my images here:

I spent an hour today trying to relocate the bird with no luck. The area where it was seen: 37.870981, -122.320365

I welcome your comments.

Jack Hayden
Albany, CA