Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope) in Orange Co., NC

Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

North Carolina's first adult male Calliope Hummingbird was irresistably attracted to the Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) in Ginger Travis's yard northwest of Chapel Hill. He was seen almost daily after Ginger found him on 7 November 2002. There was speculation that this might be the same bird as the bird Ginger had last year - an immature hummer that, when banded, was at first thought to be a Calliope.

Susan Campbell managed to capture and band the bird in early December 2002. There was no band, so he's definitely not the same bird as the one she banded here the previous winter.

Unfortunately, the hummer was not seen after 23 January 2003 - he most likely succumbed because of the extended cold snap (low of 11 F the morning of 24 Jan).

After a string of immature/female Calliopes, it's very nice to see such an unmistakable hummingbird!

The gorget feathers really glow raspberry red when the light hits them right.

Note how the tail seems to extend past the wingtips in many of these photos -- this is an artifact of the angle the bird was facing. Seen from the side, the wingtips extend slightly past the short tail.

I took these photos on the morning of Sunday, 10 November with a Nikon CoolPix 995 hand held to a Kowa TSN-824.

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.