Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Fluffing Up

Ruby-throated hummingbirds were rather scarce here early this year, perhaps because the very dry late spring and early summer limited both insect populations and flowers’ nectar production. It appeared there was only one male frequenting the feeders and, although there may have been more, there were none of the typical aerial battles in which hummingbirds typically engage.

Female hummingbirds aren’t seen as often as males early in the season since they’re either nest building, incubating eggs or searching for small insects to feed they young. By mid-July rain had resumed and hummingbird activity markedly increased through August. In addition to at least two adult males there were several females and/or juvenile birds visiting the feeders.

Which brings us to the morning I looked out the window and saw a female/juvenile ruby-throated hummingbird perched on a twig at the top of the bank in the yard –

The bird was vigorously preening and fluffing its feathers and seemed to be quite content on its perch so I switched the camera from taking photographs to video.

It wasn’t until I was editing the video that it became apparent that this was a juvenile male ruby-throated hummingbird. If you watch closely at 3:13 of the video you’ll see a tiny red spot – the beginning of the adult male’s red gorget –

Soon this young bird will join all the other hummingbirds in their journey to warmer winter quarters - some have already departed. Perhaps he, like some others, will fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico and then return to this hillside next spring.


Jenn Jilks said...

I love the tongue!

eileeninmd said...

Pretty photos and video on the Hummingbird. I still see a few here, they should be leaving any day now. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.