Calliope Hummingbirds in Atascadero

Kevin Zimmer

Along with the large numbers of Selasphorus (presumed Rufous) hummingbirds which have spiked over the past week at our feeders, we are now getting a few Calliope Hummingbirds.  Our first one was a female yesterday (April 1) afternoon.  This morning at around 9:00 a.m. we briefly had a male.  No more sightings, despite much attention, until about 4:15 p.m., when I photographed a female at one of our feeders.  Then, between 5:20 and 5:45 p.m., a male visited the feeders several times, and I was able to get several documentary photos.  The Calliopes are not having an easy time of it, because there are so many typically aggressive adult male Rufous (at least 8–12 adult males, and probably 25-40 female/imm male Selasphorus that I assume are Rufous, since we seldom get any confirmed Allen’s Hummingbirds this far inland) that are just hammering any other hummingbird attempting to feed.

I’ve been hearing Warbling Vireos singing in the neighborhood for the past few days, and lots of House Wrens, Orange-crowned Warblers and Pacific-slope Flycatchers singing everywhere.  Female Bullock’s Orioles and Black-headed Grosbeaks have arrived here and joined the males, which have been on site for the last two weeks.  I also had a female Phainopepla just down the street today.

Still good numbers of Pine Siskins at our feeders, although American Goldfinches and Purple Finches have been mostly missing in action (compared to normal) for the entire month of March.  Our 3 wintering White-throated Sparrows are still hanging in, and one or more of them can frequently be heard singing from the vicinity of Graves Creek in the afternoon. 

Kevin Zimmer

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