Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # O_2007-01

Common name:

Anna's Hummingbird

Scientific name: Calypte anna
Date: Nov 10-Dec 17, 2006
Length of time observed: On all days except Nov 22 and 29, Dec 10 and 12-16.
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: 1961 Arapaho Circle, Ogden, UT
County: Weber
Latilong: 3 (GPS coords: N 4109.952' W11155.652 )
Elevation: 4982 ft
Distance to bird: 2-150 feet; usually 6 feet
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars, spotting scope with 20-60x eye piece
Weather: Varied late fall conditions from sunny and 50 to frosty single-digit temperature mornings to snowstorms
Light Conditions: Full sun to complete overcast and snowy
Description:        Size of bird: About 4 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Chunkier than a couple more common Utah hummers; thicker head and neck; tail projected well past wingtips.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Rosy-red iridescent head except for back of head and nape; green back, grayish wings, scaly gray-green breast and sides.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Needlelike
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Shape and Proportions: Robust-looking in comparison to Black-chinned or Calliope; on a par with Broad-tailed and Rufous. Bill was short to medium length for a hummer. Slightly thinner 3/4 the way out from the base before it widened slightly near the tip, then tapered at extreme distal end. Head and body somewhat stout. Tail noticeably longer than the wings when perched; notch in tail was so deep it almost looked forked. Shape of tail especially apparent just before the bird
completely closed fanned tail.

Plumage features: Head: Rosy-red iridescent throat, forehead, crown and irregular spots behind each eye. Head looked armored with minute plates of rosy aluminum foil. Iridescence sometimes had a coppery or mossy green cast especially on the throat. Corners of gorget slightly extended so that they stuck out from the bird s profile when he turned his head. Both corners projected straight above his neck when he dipped his bill into feeding ports. Red plumage appeared dull black without direct light. Small white spot in front of eye, larger white spot behind eye, and indistinct whitish line from behind eye ending at back of neck visually separated gorget from back of head.

Upperparts: Green without rust or buffy cast from back of crown to tail. Sometimes a blue-green cast appeared down the center of the back. Wings and tail: Grayish. No noticeable white tips on ends of retrices; no rust at base.

Underparts: Breast, sides, flanks, and belly: Dull whitish background dominated with scaly gray-green feathers. Undertail coverts showed larger greenish-brown scales against a white field.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Very vocal on tree perch. Tiny single chips (tsip!) reminiscent of Winter Wren s call, but even tinier sound. Wing whirr was a dry, low-pitched hum without high-pitched whine.
Behavior: Arrived at feeder each morning at about 15 minutes before sunrise and one hour before direct sunlight hit the feeder. Spent the first hour perched on a tiny branch just two feet from the feeder. Fed about every 20 minutes. Always settled on feeder perch and wasted no time feeding drank and observed the yard multiple times in a 30-second feeding bout, then moved to a tree perch. Only rested on the feeder twice while seeming to absorb the heat from an infrared heating bulb placed 18 inches above the feeder. One rest period was 3 minutes, the second was 5 minutes.

On sunny days, he rested in a thick euonymus hedge next to a south-facing wall between feedings. Spent afternoons perched atop branches in trees within 15 feet of my deck between feeding. Always perched very close to a newly introduced feeder for a day or two. Not wary of small birds or humans. Fed 15 feet away from photographers and observers while shutters clicked, flashes flashed, and talkers talked. Always flushed when a magpie landed in his tree.

Last visit of the day was usually one half-hour to 45 minutes before sunset. Latest appearance was 5 pm, just one day.

He stayed at my house constantly for the first four or five days. For the next two weeks, he appeared early and not after 8 a.m. Then again he spent most of the day at the house from the Nov 27 winter storm until Dec 11.

Very vocal with tiny chips when perching in a tree just after feeding bouts.

Investigated suet feeders multiple times by inserting bill between wire mesh.

Habitat: Suburban neighborhood in oak foothills
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Rosy-red feathers on forehead and crown eliminated all other possibilities.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None with Anna s or Costa s. Black-chinned, Calliope, Rufous and Broad-tailed all visited my feeders this year. Have hosted Ruby-throated at multiple residences east of the Mississippi
References consulted: Peterson s Hummingbirds (Sheri L. Williamson), Sibley, National Geo, Golden Guide (1966), and
Description from: From memory
Observer: Kristin M. Purdy
Observer's address: 1961 Arapaho Circle, Ogden, UT 84403
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Jack Binch, Glenn Barlow, Jack Rensel, Gayle Allen, Paul Higgins
Date prepared: Dec 29, 2006
Additional material: Paul Higgins' images
Additional comments: Purpose of this record is to contribute to evidence that this species may be expanding its range eastward. Hummingbird appeared at a neighbor's house 2 blocks away on Nov 8 or 9; visited there poradically during the stay at my house. Hummer stayed primarily at neighbor's after Dec 12; last seen at neighbor's on Dec 23. Photos of bird at both locations appear to match due to shape of bill and pattern of gorget feathers at corners.