As I sat at the front desk at work yesterday, Howie Fischer surprised me with a phone call to report that he had just seen Staten Island's FIRST RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD at his feeders on Grymes Hill!
A long over due species for STATEN ISLAND!
After hanging up the phone, I quickly hopped on the SINaturalist home page to post Howie's report and sent a Mass Text to a bunch of local bird chasers.
This species is common in western United States and is a frequent visitor to the east coast in the fall. Every year a few show up somewhere in New York, and multiple individuals were banded last fall in a single day in New Jersey last fall!
Matt Savoca was one of the first birders to join Howie in the stake-out, and after about an hour and a half, Matt texted to report that the bird had reappeared! Over the next hour the bird made apperances every 10-15 minutes. I was stuck at work watching the clock slowly tick, thinking about this wonderful events going on just miles away! Finally, when 5 o'clock hit I was in the car racing up to Howie's!
When I arrived Ed Johnson and Matt reported the bird was JUST there feeding on some red flowers only feet from where they stood! For me it took about 15 minutes but finally the little red jewel came to the feeders and zipped off. Moments later he returned and I was able to get satisfyingly awesome views! Over the next few hours the group included Dr. Veit, Ann Purcell, Zach Johnson (whom Ed left to picked up) and Howie returned from some errands.
Over the next hour and half the bird made 4-5 trip to the feeder and spent some time perching on a wire tomato cage in the backyard. The sun was setting and a coolness nipping the air, so we all thanked Howie again and went our own ways...
Today's story coming soon..... please note both photos were taken "today".....