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Rufous hummingbird        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Male rufous hummingbirds closely resemble male Allen's hummingbirds, except that the rufous has a rusty back and Allen's has a green back.   Females (below left) are very difficult to identify to species in regions where rufous and Allen's overlap.   Many of these images were taken near feeders at the Big Morongo Reserve in Riverside County, California, when the birds were migrating north in spring.   Several were made in late winter in Patagonia, Arizona, and in the Cache National Forest in northeast Utah.   The bottom two pictures show migrant female (or juvenile) rufous hummingbirds were photographed years ago in California's Sierra Nevada, near Yosemite National Park.   It's interesting how the male's gorget color changes depending on the angle of reflected light, from dark red to golden yellow-orange.   Pictures of perched rufous hummingbirds are on this page.

  • Canon 1D Mk II or 1D4, 500 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter or 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter, or 70-200 mm f4 IS, extension tubes, and fill-in flash (2007, 2011, 2012)
  • Nikon F, 300 mm Nikkor lens, Kodachrome 25, electronic flash (1975)