Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery bird] Probable Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna, photographed in Seattle, Washington. “[T]his [bird] has almost a yellow stripe from behind the eyes, down the side of the head and down the back. [A]lso the same yellow appears on about the center of the outer wing. It is much smaller than the Anna’s that usually come [to the hummingbird feeder]”, writes the photographer.

Image: Julie, 23 February 2009 [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.


  1. #1 D Cole
    February 25, 2009

    Either Anna’s hummingbird because of the dark head and what might be a pale eye-ring, or a Black-chinned hummingbird but it is hard to tell if the purple band is there.

  2. #2 Danimal
    February 25, 2009

    Black chin, white chest, green back. I’ll go with black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri).

  3. #3 Dianna Moore
    February 25, 2009

    Dark head, pale eye-ring and line from eye to back of head and the color of it’s back tell me this is an adult male Anna’s. “Yellow stripe” probably just the reflection of light off the green feathers. Also, inner primaries not as narrow as on Black-chinned…PLUS, it’s Seattle where Anna’s rule this time of year.

  4. #4 llewelly
    February 26, 2009

    Nonsense! Didn’t any of you notice it has a metallic gold ring for a left eye? Or that it is feeding from a clearly artificial feeder full of robot liquor?
    Calypte Mechanikus , clearly. Used by the government to spy on hippies.

  5. #5 Michelle Smith
    February 26, 2009

    I say Black-chinned, because Anna’s does not have the wings extending beyond the tail.

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