It was a rather cool morning for mid-August, and raining. The woods were soaked and so was I after spending several hours searching for fungi and other subjects to photograph. After changing out of my wet boots and clothes I was preparing to eat lunch and happened to look out the kitchen window.
On a branch of a dead tree was a ruby-throated hummingbird, also quite wet –
This was a female or, more likely, a juvenile bird. Every thirty seconds or so it would fluff its feathers and shake in an effort to get rid of the still-falling rain –
The bird flew over to the feeder hanging from the eave of the house and fed for a while, then back to the dead limb. Meanwhile I’d moved a bit to get a better view. When it again landed on the limb it was facing me, still bearing droplets of rain on its beak –
Back to the feeder again – it takes a lot of fuel to keep that little body warm in cool wet weather. And then back to the branch –
The back and forth trips continued until the hummingbird flew up and over the roof of the house.
Two hours later the rain had stopped and the hummingbird had returned to the dead branch. It looked up into the woods behind the house and raised its hackles, perhaps it had seen another of the hummingbirds that visit the feeder –
To the feeder and back and then to spend a long time preening –
This bird was especially tolerant of a close approach which is what led me to conclude, perhaps incorrectly, that it was a young bird rather than an adult female – although, on previous occasions, I’ve sometimes been able to closely approach adult ruby-throats.