By Thelma Dalmas

Everyone is familiar with the old adage about good things coming in small packages. On Saturday the Lynchburg birding community received a huge surprise when North America’s tiniest bird, a calliope hummingbird, was banded here in Boonsboro. It is by far the most unusual species I’ve ever seen near Lynchburg. It does not even appear on the regular list of bird species known to occur in Virginia and it is the first banding record in the state.

The bird was first reported to me by Mary Pat Morrison when she saw a hummingbird at her feeder in mid October. Since we have ruby-throated records through late October, everyone assumed that this was simply a lingering bird. In mid November, I heard about a probable rufous hummingbird at the home of Elizabeth Hutter and went out to see that bird. I also dropped by to look at what was thought to be the very late ruby-throated and after seeing it, I just wasn’t sure what it was.

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