A Very Special Visitor to Arizona

By Dan Weisz

Many of us in the Foothills have hummingbird feeders in our yards and enjoy the variety of regular and migrant birds that we have. An Allen’s Hummingbird was spotted at the Desert Museum last weekend in the “People and Pollinators’ Garden”.

It looks similar to Rufous Hummingbirds that are much more frequent in Arizona, including some sightings in the Foothills. The Allen’s Hummingbird has one of the most restricted breeding range of any North American hummingbird. Allen’s breed along narrow strip of habitat on the coasts of California and Oregon and winters either in one spot in southern California or deep into Mexico. See the range map at the bottom of this posting. Enjoy!

Look at those tail feathers!

The Allen’s is hanging out in a patch of flowering Mexican Honeysuckle and Chuparosa plants.

How rare is this in Arizona? The hummingbird below is only the second record EVER of an Allen’s in Arizona in the month of February!

His gorget shows a flash of iridescent, flaming red/orange when he turns his head just so.

Like most hummingbirds, the Allen’s is very small. It is about 3.5 inches long, and weighs about as much as a penny.

And there’s that tail again.

A good look at his back, full of green feathers.

Here is a range map for the Allen’s:

(FYI, my daughter Debbie and son-in-law Kyle have created a nice Etsy site where they are marketing my photos. Please check it out and pass the info on to any friends. Any of my other photos are available for purchase. If you do not see one of your favorites on the Etsy site, just ask! Thanks.