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Lost in space

By UrbanAnthropod, December 23, 2011 6:22 pm

For a few weeks, there had been some buzz about a hummingbird outside the American Museum of Natural History – Rose Center for Earth and Space. This was very surprising and I had heard about her during a cold snap. I was off watching a Cooper’s Hawk in the ramble when someone walked by and shared the information with someone else within my earshot. Naturally, all the regular hummingbirds are out of the city and probably spending winter in Florida. Cityroom Blog at NY times had indicated that this hummingbird was even more extraordinary than expected. The standard hummingbird for New York is the Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). Even then, these birds are found only in large gardens and the outer boroughs. To confound our confusion, the article and physical appearance of this bird indicates that it is a female Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). This would not be so unusual if it wasn’t winter. But it is especially confusing since the Rufous is a West coast bird. It seems to be completely out of place her in NYC.

I went over to the AMNH on the way to the Port Authority in order to get a glimpse of this little girl. Sure enough, she was easy to find right outside the entrance to the Rose Center. Nestled amongst a few remaining flowers, she was seen darting in and out of the flower bed with occasionally rest stops on a preferred perch. I could see that human intervention had already taken place as an upside down soda bottle could be spotted near the flower bed, intended to supplement the lack of flowers in the area. She never went near it and preferred, instead, to frequent the small blossoms that hung precariously on the plants as the season neared an end.

Female Rufous hummingbird in action

As is always the case, I packed up to head towards the bus depot and she got really close. On top of that, she rubbed in my departure by becoming more interesting and hovering more than before.

Rufous hummingbird

We can only hope that she decides yo leave our wonderful city soon. For her own good since those flowers are not long for this world and the cold will surely come back.

Geo

American Museum of Natural History – Rose Center for Earth and Space

Related posts:

  1. You know it’s winter
  2. Canstruction
  3. Just Look Up!
  4. Turtle Watch
  5. Nesting at the Cathedral

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