Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.–Benjamin Disraeli
If Disraeli was correct, then Rufous Hummingbirds are both fire and smoke.
I recently took the time to peruse our collection of images of hummingbirds from the Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park in West Texas. Specifically, I was looking for evidence of the presence of Allen’s Hummingbirds, those little flying gems that are often indistinguishable from Rufous Hummingbirds. One of our field guides shows the migratory range of the Allen’s Hummingbird just barely touching the western extremity of Texas. Maybe . . . . But alas, no Allen’ Hummingbirds were in evidence.
But Rufous Hummingbirds are common in this desert park. One of the most aggressive of all hummingbirds, the males are known for their spectacular aerial fights–and their ruthless defense of nectar resources. Immatures are often frustratingly difficult to distinguish from females. But young and old, male and female perch, bold as brass, on the yuccas, agaves, desert willows, and ocotillos of the Franklin Mountains.
Counting the days until we can return . . . .
©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham and Elisa D. Lewis. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.