North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/936087

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 15 F I R S T U. S . R E C O R D O F A M E T H Y S T - T H R O AT E D H U M M I N G B I R D Texas bird. L. a. margaritae occurs in southwest- ern Mexico in the states of Michoacan, Guer- rero, and Oaxaca, and is the most controversial of the five subspecies. Males are much darker and have gorgets of metallic violet instead of pink. Margaritae possibly represents a distinct species and may very well be sympatric with amethystinus in southern Oaxaca (Howell and Webb 1995). L. a. circumventris occurs in south - ern Mexico in far southwestern Oaxaca, but is so similar to the nominate amethystinus that it is unlikely distinct. L. a. salvini is described from the mountains of Guatemala, El Salvador, and extreme southern Mexico in Chiapas, while L. a. nobilis is the race occurring in the mountains of Honduras. The authors are unable to suggest if plumage features point to any particular race of this species other than to eliminate margari - tae based on gorget coloration. Only one other Amethyst-throated Hum - mingbird has been documented elsewhere out of its normal range. A male wandered all the way up to the Saguenay region of Québec, be - ing observed there from 30–31 July 2016. This bird was well documented with photographs by Annie Lavoie, the homeowner who originally noted the presence of the bird, and by Samuel It was more like the distinct tick of a Rivoli's but not as loud nor as sharp. In addition, the bird would often reel off a series of sharp tick notes in a rattle-like fashion. Unfortunately, no high quality, targeted recordings of the bird's vocaliza - tions were obtained during the short visit. The Sighting in Context The Amethyst-throated Hummingbird nor- mally occurs only in the mountains of central Mexico south to Honduras (AOU 1998, Howell and Webb 1995, Edmunds et al. 2011). It is not know to be migratory and so is considered mostly sedentary. More specifically, in Mexico it ranges north on the Pacific side to Nayarit and on the Gulf side to San Luis Potosi and south - ern Tamaulipas, then south in central portions of Central America to the mountains of Guate - mala, El Salvador, and southwestern Honduras. There are five recognized subspecies of Lamp- ornis amethystinus (Edmunds et al. 2011). The northernmost race is the nominate subspecies, L. a. amethystinus. The location of occurrence in west Texas is approximately 600 miles north- northwest of the nearest known population of this subspecies; geographic proximity would suggest that this is the taxon represented by the at this time of year and usually exhibit flight feather molt and/or body molt, none of which was observed or seen in the photos and videos. The prominent features of this bird's plumage include a pinkish-red gorget, a medium long all- black bill (but not quite as long as for Rivoli's or Blue-throated hummingbird), and an elongated and mostly white ear stripe with a dark dusky– gray auricular patch, as well as a dusky grayish- tan breast, belly, and flanks. The bird's under-tail coverts are also dusky–tan with darker centers. The upper-parts include dull but somewhat iri - descent lime-green on top of the head, as well as on the nape, the shoulders, and the back, but with a bronzy-black rump and bluish-black up - per-tail surface typical of the genus, in contrast to a green rump and upper tail surface in Rivoli's Hummingbirds. The tail shows light dusky-tan tips, especially on the outer feathers. This bird was very vocal during its visits to the feeders and also when perched in nearby trees. It is possible the cam microphone captured a few of its vocalizations; if so, spectrographic analysis of the calls would be valuable. The call note was clearly more similar to a Rivoli's than a Blue-throated. It was definitely not the high thin and loud seep exhibited by a Blue-throated. Fig. 4. This handsome bird very closely resembled the individual involved in the Québec record. Both birds showed fresh plumage, no obvious primary molt, and two generations of feathers in the mantle. Upon a cursory inspection, some experts wondered if the two records might even involve the same individual. However, after a closer analysis, this was shown to not be the case. Photo by © Kelly B. Bryan.

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