Rufous Hummingbird in Eastern townshipSelasphorus rufusCredit: Serge Beaudette
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To the east
A migratory glitch leads some Rufous Hummingbirds to migrate east rather than south. Generally speaking, individual birds that migrate to the east by mistake die. However, a number of them have survived and have transmitted this tendency to migrate east to their progeny. This trend is the result of an improved survival rate due to the presence of feeders. If food and shelter are available, Rufous Hummingbirds are astonishingly robust; they are capable of tolerating temperatures of nearly -20°C.
Rufous HummingbirdSelasphorus rufusCredit: Frank Leung
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The courtship of the male Rufous Hummingbird is spectacular. The bird does a series of dives while emitting what seem to be stuttering sounds. The dives always end at the same spot, close to the female, but begin in different locations. The plunges are rapid, but the ascents are slow. The female spreads the white extremities of her tail feathers to indicate that she accepts his advances.
Rufous HummingbirdSelasphorus rufusCredit: Serge Beaudette
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Taking a bath
The Rufous Hummingbird likes to take a bath. As is the case for all birds, it has a gland at the base of its tail that secretes an oil for cleaning and waterproofing its feathers. It may also be seen, as here, with its feathers puffed up, sun bathing.