A Calliope, the smallest of hummingbirds in the U.S., made an unprecedented appearance to north Mississippi in November during the Strawberry Plains Wildlife Photography Workshop - What Luck! Instructors Curt Hart and Allen Sparks both photographed the tiny bird. Notice the brown feathers and spotted neck. If you look closely, you may also notice a splotch or purple on the neck – A telltale feature of the Calliope. Bob Sargent, Hummer/Bird Study Group, traveled from his home in Alabama to put the tiniest of bands on the bird. As Bob told us, “Calliope is super rare.” He had never seen one in North Mississippi – The closest was Jackson, 15 years ago. The word was out – Birders from around the region pilgrimaged to SPAC for a chance to add a species to their life lists! The Calliope typically inhabits mountain areas in the northwestern states. It is the smallest long-distance avian migrant in the world and spends its winters in Mexico. But as Bob said, “they have wings, they don’t read field guides, and they go where they jolly well please!” The bird has not been spotted since 11/17 but we’re still watching!
For more pictures, check out Curt Hart's additional photos, of the bird and the banding at http://www.flickr.com/photos/allhart/6354745611/in/photostream
For more about the the Calliope Hummingbird, visit All About Birds at