Like many “Big Deals”, this one started with a “Little Deal”. In this case, the little deal was a flying jewel about 10 cm long and weighed in at about 5 grams. It had feathers, of course. A white underbelly, red beak, and sported a violet crown. It was also an immigrant from Mexico. Not sure if it crossed our southern border with the proper documents.
In the early 70’s, Marion and Wally, hardy New England stock, acquired a small, modest home in Patagonia with about an acre of land along Sonoita Creek in Southeastern Arizona. They planted gardens and hung bird feeders about, including hummingbird feeders that Marion filled regularly with sweet sugar water.
The birds came. Then the birdwatchers. Marion and Wally could see the birders peering over their fence with their binoculars and spotting scopes. One Sunday, a fellow knocked on their door. When Wally answered, this fellow asked excitedly, “Do you know you’ve got a very rare hummingbird at your feeders out there?”
Wally replied, “No, we know we’ve got hummingbirds and like to watch them and they’re pretty, but …”
The fellow at the door couldn’t wait for Wally to finish his sentence.
“Yeah, well you’ve got a Mexican Violet-crowned out there,” pointing toward the backyard.Read More