ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 41


Bird Photo

Throughout much of our region, hummingbird identification is relatively straightforward. Aside from some areas of the southwest, there are usually no more than four species that can be expected at a single locale. And most of the US and Canada only have but a single species that is expected. But come fall, things start to get interesting. In recent years, several species have been documented far from their "normal" range and Rufous Hummingbird is now seen annually throughout much of the East.

The first step in identifying a hummingbird is to place it in the correct group. Size is often helpful in this respect, but judging size is often tricky from a single photo. The hummingbird feeder in this photo suggests that this bird isn't very large or very small. Still, there are better places to start. First, this bird has fairly extensive wash of warm buff coloration to the sides and flanks. The extent of this coloration suggests Selasphorus (Rufous, Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Bumblebee if we're really dreaming) or Calliope Hummingbird. True, some immature Archilochus (Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in particular) can have some buff coloration on the flanks, but the extent on our bird would be at the extreme. [We can also look at the uniformly broad primaries of our bird. They are also unlike Archilochus].

Let's now look carefully at the tail. Rufous and Allen's Hummingbirds have extensive rufous in the tail, and the uppertail coverts are edged in rufous. Our bird lacks rufous on the uppertail coverts and the tail is only moderately edged in rufous. Another strike against Rufous or Allen's Hummingbirds is that the flanks of those species are usually a more deep rich cinnamon in color.

From a single image, separating Broad-tailed Hummingbird from Calliope can sometimes be challenging. One of the best ways, is to examine the relative length of the tail and wings. The wings of the Calliope Hummingbird are slightly longer than the length of the tail (unlike our bird, where the tail is noticeably longer). Furthermore, our bird appears larger with a longer, heavier bill and more rufous edging to the tail than we would see on a Calliope Hummingbird. For the sake of completeness, Bumblebee Hummingbird is smaller still, with a much smaller bill and more heavily marked throat and darker cinnamon flanks.

This leaves us with Broad-tailed Hummingbird. In addition to the features already mentioned, the distinct post-ocular spot and green upperparts are typical of female and immature Broad-tailed Hummingbirds

This Broad-tailed Hummingbird was photographed the Wet Mountains of Pueblo Co. Colorado, in August 2002.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the August Bird Photo Quiz—Broad-tailed Hummingbird:

  1. Jason Giovannone, Columbia, SC
  2. Tori Hotz, Lawrenceville, NJ
  3. Ben Young, Salem, OR
  4. Aaron Hulsey, Smiths Grove, Ky
  5. Richard Hibpshman, Issaquah, WA
  6. Gary W. Potter, Sanger, Calif.
  7. Philip Kline, Tucson, AZ
  8. Tim Snieder, Sarnia, Ontario
  9. Brandon Percival, Pueblo West, Colorado
  10. Colin Woolley, Lee Vining, CA
  11. Ben Coulter, Erie, PA
  12. Jack Rothman, City Island, NY
  13. Trey McCuen, Macon, GA
  14. Thomas Lechleitner, Fort Lupton, CO
  15. Garry McVeig, Henderson, Nevada
  16. Jim Kopitzke, Mesa, AZ
  17. Bonnie Reimer, Madison, Wisconsin
  18. Lyn Imperial, Middletown, DE
  19. Bertram.E.B.BREE, Jersey island,European Channel Isles, near France
  20. Rick Poulin, Ottawa, Ontario
  21. Mike Edgington, Sharon Center, OH
  22. Aaron Bilyeu, Placerville, CA
  23. Benoit Dorion, Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
  24. Leslie Rountree, Fayetteville, GA
  25. Karl Erich Mayer, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
  26. Sam Galick, Flemington, NJ
  27. Julie Cocke, Jacksonville, FL
  28. Laura Coble, Cannon Falls, MN
  29. Larry Ridenhour, Boise, Idaho
  30. Henry Wilton, Rutland, VT
  31. Aaron Brees, Des Moines, IA
  32. Priscilla Lai, Markham, Ontario
  33. Steve Hampton, Davis, CA
  34. Sherry Lynn Punak-Murphy, Shilo, Manitoba, Canada
  35. George Cresswell, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  36. Eva Pratt, Inman, SC
  37. Randy Weber, Valencia, CA
  38. Marcel Gauthier, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, Canada
  39. Marcelo Brongo, Barcelona, Spain
  40. Malkolm boothroyd, whitehorse yukon
  41. Barb Duncan, Jefferson City, MO
  42. Ed Harper, Sacramento, CA 95841
  43. Jonathan Comeau, Williston, VT
  44. Devin Bosler, Lancaster, PA
  45. Nathan Swick, Chapel Hill, NC
  46. Brian McAllister, Saranac Lake, NY
  47. Pam Baum, Tucson, AZ
  48. Stephen Seiffert, Lansdowne, Ontario Canada
  49. Andre Moncrieff, Berrien Springs, MI
  50. Jim Mountjoy, Galesburg, IL
  51. Tim Kashuba, Redding, CA
  52. Yves Gauthier, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  53. Cynthia Taylor, Tucson, AZ
  54. bill glenn, las cruces, NM
  55. TJ Hathcock, Cleveland, OK
  56. Aariel Rowan, richmond,ca
  57. Bill Maynard, Colorado Springs, CO
  58. Richard Garrigues, San Antonio de Belen, Heredia, Costa Rica
  59. Arun Bose, Richmond, VA
  60. Aaron, Castle Hayne, NC
  61. Celestyn Brozek, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  62. Shaun Hicks, Morrisville, PA
  63. James P. Smith, Amherst, MA
  64. John Walko, Collierville, Tennessee
  65. John Hull, Hamilton, OH
  66. Edith Prince, Seattle, WA
  67. Peter Dedicoat, Stafford, UK
  68. Zachary D. Kaiser, Burlington, WI
  69. John Van Kirk, Huntington, West Virginia
  70. Chris Sloan, Nashville, TN
  71. Ron Pozzi, Granite Bay, CA
  72. David R. Schas, Powell Butte, OR
  73. David Crisman, Tigard, OR
  74. Michael Woodruff, Spokane, WA
  75. Larry Lade, Saint Joseph, Missouri
  76. Greg Gillson, Hillsboro, Oregon
  77. Gary Herbert, Rochester, New York
  78. Nick Anich, Ashland, WI
  79. Andy Bankert, Melbourne Beach, FL
  80. Elaine MacPherson, Sierra Madre, CA
  81. Philip Chaon, Cleveland Heights, OH
  82. John Damgaard- Nielsen, copenhagen,denmark
  83. Francesc Jutglar, Cardedeu, Spain
  84. Benjamin Griffith, Merrimack, NH
  85. Tim Hochstetler, Millersburg OH
  86. G Kelsey, Jacksonville, FL
  87. Hannah Kistler, Torrington, WY
  88. Greg Zupansic, Eugene, Oregon
  89. Gerald J Brow, Cedar Michigan
  90. Liis Veelma, Winnipeg, MB
  91. Jason Waanders, Washington, DC
  92. Tim White, Hartsville, SC
  93. Emily Rich, Clinton, NY
  94. Ethan Kistler, Newton Falls, Ohio
  95. Alan J. Knue, Seattle, WA
  96. James McKay, Mesa, AZ
  97. Michael Mayer, Flushing, New York
  98. Glenn L. Werner, Beaufort, S.C.
  99. Haynes A. Werner, Beaufort, S.C.
  100. Kevin Kerr, Guelph, ON
  101. Luke Seitz, Falmouth, ME
  102. manuel mondejar, portland,oregon
  103. Hannah Nadel, Fresno, CA
  104. Elizabeth Morgan, Palm Desert, CA
  105. Myles Falconer, Peterborough, ON
  106. Rachel King, Brooklyn NY
  107. Richard Green, Brooklyn NY
  108. Robert Doster, Albuquerque, NM
  109. Josh Shramo, Dillon, CO
  110. John Kuenzli, Columbus, OH
  111. Adrian, Laredo, Texas
  112. Melissa Hein, North Branch, MN
  113. Jon Mundall, Connell, WA
  114. Jeremy Linden, Warren, PA
  115. Robert Lengacher, Tallahassee, FL
  116. Mary Austin, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  117. MA Dudragne, Swift Current, SK
  118. Adrian Azpiroz, St. Louis, MO
  119. Blue Rubinstein, New York, NY
  120. Cathy Ricketts, Savannah, GA
  121. Karen Rubinstein, New York,.NY
  122. Matthew Schneider, Silverton, OR
  123. Blake Mathys, New Brunswick, NJ
  124. Kathryn Holm, Tamuning, GU
  125. Wayne Meyer, Denison, TX
  126. Aaron Boone, Columbus, Ohio
  127. Harry Hooper, Tallahassee, Florida
  128. Dan Walker, Canyon, Texas
  129. Pilaiporn Mundall, Yilan, TAIWAN
  130. Eddie Mundall, Klamath Falls, OR
  131. Laurina Mundall, Klamath Falls, OR
  132. James Nowak, Steamboat Springs, Co.
  133. Ben Nowak, Steamboat Springs co.
  134. Erik Mundall, Yilan, TAIWAN
  135. Jenifer Detter, Eureka Springs, AR

How Did You Compare?

As stated in the quiz rules, answers must consist simply of the Common or English name exactly as it appears in the ABA Checklist.

The following list shows the number of submissions for each species guessed.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Bahama Woodstar
Costa's Hummingbird
Lucifer Hummingbird
Lucy's Warbler
Green-breasted Mango


The photo and answer for this quiz were supplied by Chris Wood.