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Story about Duncan’s rare hummingbird seems to have wings

Lucy the Leucistic hummingbird has Cowichan Valley birdwatchers all a-twitter
This tiny white hummingbird has us scrambling to the back window to have a look every time we see it. It seems our neighbours are doing the same. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The piece I wrote about ‘Lucy’ the leucistic hummingbird apparently has wings.

I naively thought I was just writing about our curiously coloured backyard bird for my regular Friday column and figured, like most of the stuff I write, maybe a handful of people would care.

I’ll admit, it made me feel good to see the interest on the Citizen’s website and Facebook pages but I was genuinely surprised to receive the number of emails I did about it.

First it was a few people saying thank you for the happy news. But then I got an e-mail from TV and radio stations.

And the e-mails kept coming.

It was a little odd, though, the number of people wanting my address so they could come and check the bird out. First, it’s a bird. It’s not like it has constructed a little house in my yard and sits out on its front porch perch awaiting company. Second, I have young children and their privacy is important to me. But at the same time I totally understand how cool this bird really is and after getting confirmation from the Audubon Society that it was indeed one-in-a-million, I knew we couldn’t keep the secret just to ourselves.

So I caved a bit on handing out my address.

After stalking, oh wait I’m a reporter… after researching one prospective fellow online, I reluctantly gave him the general area of the bird.

Eric Pittman is something of a hummingbird aficionado. He runs the Hummingbirds Up Close website and Facebook pages and has worked for BBC Wildlife films and ITV Wildlife films in the U.K. The Esquimalt resident is known around these parts for having a backyard hummingbird nest camera and is a pro at locating hummingbirds and their nests.

It didn’t take him long to find the bird in a neighbour’s yard and to get some incredible video.

He’s returned to my neighbourhood several times and is so excited to see Lucy that he’s decided to make a short film about it.

He asked me to help by contacting my neighbours in the hopes they’ve seen the little white bird as well so that he can try to determine its flight patterns.

“Hummingbirds usually set out a route for feeding and rotate through areas about every hour or two so we will probably find people who say they see it regularly,” he told me.

My neighbours came through.

“My husband and I have been obsessed with the little guy and trying to get a pic for over a month!” said one neighbour.

A half a dozen neighbours let me know when they’ve seen it and with their details, Pittman will likely be able to figure out its feeding habits.

I don’t know who is more excited: me about the pending film about Lucy, or my husband, to know he isn’t the only birdwatcher on the block.

Stay tuned, as this story seems to be taking flight.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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