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).
This range map shows just how errant our little hummingbird is. But it is part of a well-established pattern of western hummingbirds appearing far to the east of their normal ranges. There have been a number of Calliope Hummingbird records east of the Mississippi River, and I'm kind of surprised it took 15 years to generate another Ohio sighting following the inaugural 2002 record.
An excellent place to keep apprised of this hummingbird's status is the Facebook Ohio Chase Birds site.