[Ontbirds] Calliope Hummingbird in Goderich - *** Limited viewing engagement ***

Glenn Coady glenn_coady at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 19 17:33:42 EST 2018

Ontbirds subscribers,

Looking for that next adrenaline hit?  You’ve come to the right place.

For some time now there has been a previously unidentified immature male Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope) coming to a feeder in Goderich.

Since late last week, I have been in negotiations with the homeowner to permit access to the Ontario birding community to enjoy seeing this outstanding bird. We have now come to an agreement on a limited viewing period opportunity with well-defined rules at the very earliest opportunity the homeowner’s schedule would permit. Failure to strictly adhere to these rules will result in immediate cessation of further viewing, so DO NOT allow yourself to become the person who spoils this opportunity for everyone else.

This bird is feeding, roosting and spending all of its time in a small area only visible from private property, so there is virtually zero chance of seeing this bird in any other manner. It does not leave this small area that is not visible from the street. Incredibly, until November 18 this bird was accompanied by a very late Ruby-throated Hummingbird, but that bird appears to have departed with a thick fat layer on that morning, leaving the Calliope Hummingbird unchallenged access to the feeders now.

Here, then, are the conditions for the limited viewing period:

1) Access to the backyard viewing area will be permitted only for the dates November 20 - 25, 2018 inclusive.

2) Birders are welcome only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on any of those six days.

3) Due to the costs of electricity for heat lamps being provided for the bird as long as it can endure, as well as anticipated costs to replace grass areas in the backyard due to the high volume of foot traffic of visitors, a $3.00 donation per person is being requested from those who attend. I believe this to be a completely reasonable request.

4) There will be a well roped-off area in the backyard and no one is permitted to go beyond that rope for ANY purpose.

5) In order to prevent congestion in a tight area of this home's yard, no scopes or tripods will be permitted into the viewing area. [See:  Do not ruin things for everyone else]

6) Parking on this narrow street is limited. DO NOT, under any circumstances, park on both sides of the street and obstruct traffic flow, particularly for large emergency vehicles like fire trucks. Some may find it better to park up in some of the commercial parking spaces in the lots of restaurants along Highway 8 within a couple of blocks of the site and walk in toward the house. We have also obtained permission from the nearby Suncoast Mall at 397 Bayfield Road for those who visit to park in their parking lots and walk the short distance to the house.

7) Please ensure that there is NO SMOKING permitted on this private property and please do not discard any cigarette butts anywhere on this street as an aggravation to the local community.

Now, the homeowner, Linda, still has some trepidation about agreeing to such a viewing event. Recognize that this cannot help but be a stressful occasion for her and her family and show her how truly exemplary your behaviour will be and how much fun the benefits of this wonderfully social experience can be. I want Linda to be able to give positive feedback on such an experience to that next person who might contact me and wondering whether to allow me to share the news of their Rustic Bunting!

Provided you agree to abide by all these conditions/rules, please feel welcome to come and see Ontario's long-awaited first Calliope Hummingbird during the period November 20 - 25.

The bird is reliably feeding at the backyard feeders of Linda Johnston at 232 Bennett Street East in Goderich (it was there today).  As you enter Goderich on Highway 8 from the east, turn left at the second street after the A&W restaurant on your left and China Wok Buffet restaurant on your right. After the bend, watch for house #232 on your left side, a little bit after the second cross street. Remember to park on one side of the street only or else park at the A&W lot and walk in.

The bird’s identification has been vetted by several North American experts already, but I will be posting photos of this bird to the Ontario Rare Bird Alert page on Facebook shortly so that people can independently make their own assessments.

It is probably best to stick to Highway 8 to enter Goderich, but if you do come toward Goderich via nearby side roads, please be very observant and drive the speed limit as there are many large flocks of Snow Buntings coming to the roads to seek grit.

Best of luck to all who go seeking this phenomenal bird,

Glenn Coady

Whitby, Ontario

glenn_coady at hotmail.com

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