Saturday 24 November 2018

A Long Week's Payoff (Calliope Hummingbird, Goderich)

Readers may be aware of Ontario's first ever record of Calliope Hummingbird that has been coming to a backyard in Goderich. It has apparently been coming to the feeder since October 18 (coincidentally the same day the Great Kiskadee in Rondeau was refound!), but birders really only knew about it when an ONTBIRDS message came through Monday night detailing its identification and instructions on how to see it! Glenn Coady was able to negotiate with the homeowner to allow for birders to come and view the bird from 9am-4pm from November 20 to November 25. Of course, I had school all week, so I had to wait a painful four days for the weekend to come! There were a couple scares throughout the week, especially when the nighttime temperatures dipped down to -20 on Wednesday night. However, it seemed against all odds, the hummer managed to pull through, and much to my relief was seen going to roost Friday night. Was my patience (if you can call it that) going to pay off?

We arrived at the home shortly before 9:00. A flock of Common Redpolls flew over, surprisingly my first ever for southern Ontario. Before long, we were told we could come back to the yard. The hummer had been seen that morning!

After a few minutes of restless waiting, he all of a sudden whizzed out of nowhere and went to the feeders. Everyone there was very happy!

As quickly as he had appeared, he disappeared. He has apparently developed a routine of coming back every 15-20 minutes or so after feeding, and today was no exception. After a bit of patience, he came back two more times during our time there, even perching in a tree for a short moment.

Thanks to the hospitality of the homeowners, well over 500 birders have been able to see the bird in the last four days or so, and I'm sure that number will continue to increase as the weekend progresses (tomorrow being the last day of viewing). [Edit: the final number of observers over the week of viewing totaled over 700 observers!]

On the way home, we stopped in Exeter, where we were pleased to find some of the famous white squirrels (colour morph of the Eastern Grey Squirrel). I have been wanting to see one for a long time, so was very pleased with the sighting!

Hard to believe December is almost here. I wonder what else will be in store for us as the season progresses?!


  1. A relief for you!
    I figured you were chomping at the bit all week!

    1. Glad it all worked out in the end. Nobody has yet to leave without seeing it, so everyone is happy!