When Mike still lived in the Bronx, lo those many years ago, he would regularly make the run up to Yonkers, in southwestern Westchester County, to visit the Lenoir Preserve.  Though he regularly sang its praises I never took the time to visit the small park along the Hudson River. That changed this week when I had the time and opportunity to twitch a Rufous Hummingbird, a bird that lives in the west and should fly south for winter.  For reasons not entirely understood, western hummingbirds are being seen with greater and greater frequency in the east, and sometimes hummers from further afield show up as well.

Despite the increased frequency of those western hummers showing up here in the east my New York list of hummingbirds stood at a paltry one, and that one was our only expected hummingbird, the wonderful Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Clearly, a twitch was in order and I used Election Day as the day to get the bird.  Tuesday was marvelously sunny and delightfully warm for November and I didn’t have too long to wait in the company of three other birders to see my quarry.  Rufous Hummingbird!  Score!

Granted, the bird appears to be a first year female, so it lacks a bit in the brightness department.  Still, in New York any hummingbird in November is a welcome sight!  And this bird is cooperative, having been seen daily for a week now, with a regular pattern of feeder and flower hopping.  Though it mostly likes the sugar-water filled feeders it also took advantage of a patch of blooming Pineapple Sage while I was there.  A first year female Selasphorus rufus may not be the brightest bird, especially this one that managed to migrate the wrong way, but it is a bird worth seeing!

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.