Updated: Monday April 30, 2007

On Thursday, April 26, 2007 a large, "dark" hummingbird was observed and photographed on a dead snag approximately 30 feet above the "drip" at TOS Sabine Woods. The bird flew in and immediately landed. Two birders (Lana and Terrel Gau) sitting next to me immediately commented that it was not a Ruby-throated, and that it was large and "all dark". It was observed for approximately 1-2 minutes.

The size of the bird was estimated to be approximately 4 inches from the top of head to the tip of tail (i.e. not including the bill in the measurement), and was clearly larger than a Ruby-throated would appear.

The images below are the entire set of photos taken at the time. They have had no processing other than cropping and exposure adjustment. The original images were quite underexposed due to the fact that the bird was silhouetted against the sky. A full frame image is followed by a cropped image of the same original.

The images were shot with a Nikon 300mm f2.8 EDAF-VR lens plus a 2X teleconverter on a Nikon D200 digital camera (effective focal length of 900mm).

The overwhelming majority of responses have identified this bird as a Green-breasted Mango. One response identified this bird as a Buff-bellied Hummingbird. Note, however, that in all images the bill is "dark". This would seem to rule out the possibility of Buff-bellied Hummingbird, which has a reddish-pink bill. Since I was able to bring out the dark colors of the bird's body, a pink bill would also be seen.

Please send comments to:

Erik Breden - erik.breden@otterside.com

Birding Top 1000 Counter

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 1 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 1

Note the decurved bill and overall green color of the bird. The cheek below the eye and throat appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 2 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 2

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 3 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 3

A little out of focus.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 4 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 4

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 5 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 5

Here the tail feathers appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 6 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 6

Here the chin, throat, and tail feathers appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 7 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 7

Here the chin, throat, and tail feathers appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 8 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 8

Here the chin, throat, and tail feathers appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.

Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 9 (Original Full Frame)

Compare this original full frame image with the cropped image below.
Sabine Woods Mystery Hummingbird - 9

Here the chin, throat, and tail feathers appear to be a dark shade of blue.

This image was cropped from the full-frame image above.