It’s the size of a thumb with flight patterns more erratic than house flies. So it’s never easy to get a good look at a hummingbird. But should you get one close enough, and still enough, don’t assume it’s our common ruby-throated hummingbird.
Through the end of September, it’s possible we get a few rufous hummingbirds through central Kansas. They’re normally birds of the mountains, but some annually were east on a roundabout migration to Mexico. In some places in far western Kansas, rufous hummers may be more common than rubythroats, especially during migrations.
There’s probably no such thing as a plain-looking male hummingbird, but rufouses are indeed striking to see. Most have a reddish face and neck, while the body is mostly orange with green wings.
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Rufous hummingbirds, like most of their family, feed largely on several species of flower and special hummingbird feeders placed by wildlife watchers.