Bird #285 — Black-chinned Hummingbird

archilochus (from archi– chief, and lochos, ambush) alexandri (given in 1846 in France by Bourcier and Musant for a medical doctor, M. M. Alexandre, who collected birds in Mexico)

Sunday, April 1, 1984 — 4:30 pm

Coronado National Forest, Arizona — Ramsey Canyon Preserve

In all the years I’ve been birding, of all the places I’ve been, this is my favorite.  It has to do partly with the birds I saw there and partly with the beauty of the place.  We reached it up a rutted dirt road that wound between the narrow, steep walls.  A small creek snaked down the canyon through thick woods, predominantly pine. The headquarters and gift shop were in the lodge, and this is where Sally and my folks went.  I wasn’t about to waste time indoors.  I headed toward two small cabins near the creek where several hummingbird feeders were hanging in nearby trees.

The specialty of Ramsey Canyon is the hummingbirds.  We were too early in the year to see it at its best, but it was still impressive.  I was amazed.  And frozen stiff.  It was cold down on the floor of the canyon in the shade but nothing could have made me move.  My fingers were shortly numb. There were quite a few people watching the feeders.

Many hummingbirds were in the area.  They would dart out of the trees along the creek, hover around the feeders for a few seconds or minutes, then dart back into the trees.  This was the predominant species.  They were buzzing around and occasionally perching on nearby bushes and tree branches.

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