A few weeks ago, I reported the appearance of a female Rufous in my Valrico
yard that I assumed was the same bird that was banded in November of 2003
and appears to have returned in each of the subsequent years. She was
recaptured in the winter of 2005 but avoided capture in 2006. Last year, she
avoided the traps again but I was able to capture 4 of the numbers on her
band with my camera.

The day after I posted, I was briefly able to see what I believed was a band
as she hopped to avoid something that went zipping by. In the past week or
so I've seen the band shining brightly on a number of occasions but none
that allowed for seeing numbers.

I was thinking that the hummer numbers were down this year but in looking
back at my posts from last year, activity is pretty much normal. I hadn't
seen three or more hummers in a chase before September and I've already had
5 chasing above the yard over a week ago. The Rufous has been a regular
along with one or two young male Ruby-throats. An adult male has been fairly
regular in a back corner of the yard as well. Today, I'm seeing a little
more chasing and possibly one or more adult male Ruby-throats in different
parts of they yard. There is usually hummer activity to be seen, or at least
heard, without much of a wait.

The songbird migration through the yard has been a bit of a disappointment
so far. Other than the usual parulas and Yellow-throated Warblers, I've only
seen one Black-and-white Warbler and one male American Redstart. I did
finally see a Summer Tanager in the yard this morning and the gnatcatchers
numbers are up considerably in the past couple of days.

Steve Backes
Valrico, FL
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