As October drew to a close, we believed that the winter birds already on site at the Hummer House indicated an average or better winter banding season at the East Windmill banding station. However, our first attempts in early November were much below average in both numbers and species of birds found there. Two subsequent attempts at the South Concho River Station in early November also yielded lower than average numbers and species of birds and we ended the month as it began. December was much like November in that we expended a great deal of effort with minimum results in numbers and species. In the second half of the month, we finally noted the arrival of White-crowned Sparrows at the EWA station and banded limited numbers of other species that in previous years were plentiful at that site. As we approached Christmas, a number of winter hummingbirds were still present at the Hummer House. We trapped and banded three of these hummers. One was a hatch year male Rufous, one was an adult female Rufous, and the last was a hatch year male Allen's Hummingbird. The Allen's was only the third of this species ever recorded at the Hummer Ranch. An adult male Rufous was also present but was very trap shy indicating that he could have been trapped and banded previously. Other attempts to trap this bird in December were not successful. During that same weekend, we went to a home in central San Angelo where we banded a hatch-year female Rufous Hummingbird.
That weekend, we received word that another winter hummingbird was present at the same location where we had banded a Rufous Hummingbird in early January of 2012. Knowing that it was possibly the same bird that had returned for a second season, we devoted an afternoon toward trapping this individual. This bird was also trap shy but we were able to trap the bird in mid-afternoon. It was not the bird from last season. It was a hatch year male Allen's Hummingbird. Allen's Hummingbird's are never expected in the Concho Valley. The presence of two individuals in a single weekend in late December seems very astounding to those that keep up with bird movements. We told the homeowner that they should buy a lottery ticket. Having a winter hummingbird is unusual. Having two different birds at a single residence in subsequent seasons is pretty astounding. The fact that this last bird is a rare visitor from California would raise the odds enough to warrant buying a lottery ticket.