Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Hummingbird Returns

In early December of 2006 I posted about a wayward hummingbird that showed up on Long Island. The tiny Rufous Hummingbird became an instant celebrity and homeowner Norm Klein entertained many of us with his daily writings. Unbelievably, two years later, his backyard was visited again by a Rufous Hummingbird. Was it the same bird? It's hard to say for sure, but it has been know to happen. Read about "Perdita", a Rufous Hummingbird that returned to North Carolina for 5 years in a row! Anyway, I thought you'd enjoy Norm's postings to Birdingonthe.net about this year's unexpected visitor:

Subject: Ilsa the selasphorus hummer
From: Norm Klein

Date: Sun, 09 Nov 2008


Hi birders!


ILSA IS BACK! Hopefully, she will be around tomorrow and the next day and the next day... For those of you who haven't met her, she is a selasphorus hummer (possibly the same bird that visited us two years ago). First seen at 9:45am this morning and has been visiting the pineapple sage and the feeders every ten minutes. She will receive visitors at 21 Woodhull Place, Northport (red house fronted by three large evergreens). If she decides to accept our hospitality tomorrow and into the future, I will continue to post. " Here's looking at you, kid!"


- Norm K.

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Subject: "Ilsa" chronicles: day 2

Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008


Hello birders!


"Ilsa" wasted no time getting to her private commisary this morning; and I do believe that she is here for the long haul. A little history: On the morning of November 26, 2006 a selasphorus hummingbird which we named Ilsa (more about this name at some future date) made her first appearance at our backyard. She left on January 29, 2007. In those 65 days we got to know our miniscule guest intimately. It was later concluded that she was indeed a rufous hummingbird. And she had journeyed 3000 miles just to visit our hummerble Northport backyard. Skip to the present; precisely 9:45am yesterday November 9, 2008, and who pops in but another selasphorus guest. We like to believe that she is original "Ilsa" and not some "Ilsa II." What are the odds that two different Ilsas would make that crazy journey and exit in the same little patch of Kleinville? So we think of her as original "Ilsa". But wbere was she hanging out last year? A mystery! If some are thinking that she is "Ilsa II", then this is a spectacular coincidence. I don't know how to solve this enigma. The future calls for her being banded; and then if she returns, we'll know for sure.


Enough for now!


- Norm K.

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Subject: Ilsa chronicles: day 3

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008


Dear hummerphiles,

"Ilsa" appeared this morning between 8 and 9 am, but unfortunately has not been seen since. I hope that she found some safe and food plenty place to spend the day. Perhaps she will reappear tomorrow, or/and the next day, or/and the days after that. I will keep the welcome mat out for her (fresh mix in the feeders) and the blooming pineapple sage. And I will keep the feeders going through Christmas. Also, I will continue to post for the rest of this week.


One of the disappointed birders who came by asked about the name "Ilsa", and since I promised to satisfy the curiosity of those who were not in the know before, I will only give you a clue. The day 2006 "Ilsa" appeared, I laughingly said to my wife: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine." And now you dear reader can fill in the dots. And I'd like to end with a toast to 2008 "Ilsa": "Here's looking at you, kid!"


-Norm K.

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Subject: Ilsa chronicles: day 4

Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008


Hi birders!


Ilsa was a no-show today. I am glad that some of you got to see the bird; and I feel kind of sad that some of you made the trip to Northport and were disappointed. But that's one of the kickers of birding. I keep on hoping that she will return; and so I keep the feeders going. I will continue to post the rest of this week. There was some excitement yesterday as a sharp-shinned hawk dwelt around the other feeders and froze all the locals. Also, a purple finch and a pair of siskins and a fish crow made an appearance. So all was not lost. It was also good to meet old friends and some new ones and to be reminded what a hardy and persistent group are birders. Happy birding!


-Norm K.

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Subject: Ilsa chronicles: day 5

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008


Hi birders,


No good news to report about Ilsa today; but the weather might have something to do with it. Even Tom Burke is hopefuil that a cold front might possibly bring her back. Keep the faith!


-Norm K.

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Subject: Ilsa chronicles: day 6

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008


Hello birders!


So, Ilsa, the selasphorus hummingbird, has flown off one more time after only a two day+ stay; and sadly this is probably my last posting about her. I wish her well. As was said by a sentimental Rick: "We'll always have Paris."


-Norm K.

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