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The Binocular Advisornone

This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

August 12, 2010
At Birdwatching Dot Com
Fairfield, Iowa

A ruby-throated hummingbird drops by for a snack of sugar solution. Mmmm.-

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Photo copyright 2010 Michael and Diane Porter

This is probably an immature male, hatched this summer. Adult females usually have whiter throats than we see here. But I could be wrong on this bird. It's difficult to tell an immature male from an adult female unless you have it in your hand and can examine the shapes of the wing feathers. Adult females and first-summer birds of both sexes have rounded tails with white corners.

Now an adult male rubythroat would be easy to recognize. He would have, well, a ruby throat. And his tail would be forked, with no white spots.

When hummingbirds first show up in spring, they are all adults, and so it's easy to tell males from females, by either their throats or their tails. But in late summer, life is more complicated, with young of both sexes looking a lot like adult females.

—Diane Porter

Outside Grid

See more pictures
from This Morning Outside

 

 

 

 

Dr. JB's
Clean Feeder


A DVD about hummingbirds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubythroat