Monday, July 21, 2014

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Also at the hummingbird feeder at the Estero Llano Grande State Park, perched a bird I could not initially identify.  Turns out to be a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. This was late February, when, typically, Ruby-throats molt their body feathers. This molt begins towards the bird’s bottom end and proceeds towards the head. Thus this bird is molting in its bright throat feathers. Weidensaul et al. (2013) also note that, especially in the winter, males occasionally have orangey throats. The cause of this orange color is not well understood.

This spring in Northfield, Erika and I enjoyed seeing many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in more typical plumage, such as the bird below.

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