As I understand it, birder Bryan Sharp, who is familiar with Calliope Hummingbird from time spent out west, saw photos and pegged the identification, thus triggering many cases of rarity fever. I was traveling and out and about, but returned yesterday to various messages informing me of the find, and as it's only about 25 minutes away, shot up late in the afternoon. It was a treat to clap eyes on a Calliope Hummingbird again. The little sprite is the smallest bird found north of the Mexican border, weighing less than a ping-pong ball.
Fortunately Tania kept up the feeder late into fall, and her supply of sugar-water forms the nucleus of the bird's turf. It is amazingly tame and perches for extended periods on a wire by the feeder, or in an adjacent lilac bush. The bird has been present for the better part of a week.
I also want to make note of the Perrys' generosity. A rarity of this magnitude generates an avalanche of interest, and is sure to attract lots of visitors. Tania and Corey have briefed the neighbors, organized parking, and delineated a convenient viewing area which will offer wonderful views of the hummingbird. Would only all backyard rarities appear at the homes of such gracious hosts.
Allen Chartier, a hummingbird bander and expert, would likely be able to definitively age and sex the bird from shots like this, so I sent some along to him. Allen's prognosis: hatch-year male, based on the shape and coloration of the retrices (tail feathers).