23 July 2017 – another day, another hummingbird

I found a dead Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Noble Research Center yesterday and today I found another.  Here’s a chance for me to identify, age, and sex this one correctly on the first try.

First things first – northwest alcove.


Okay, other than hummingbird what have we got?

Ruby-throated or Black-chinned?  Wings reach tail tip (barely).  It’s a Rubythroat.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.22.07 PM

Hatch-year or older?  Bill corrugations?  Buffy edges to feathers?  Yes on both counts.  This is a hatch-year Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Male or female? The bird is reflecting kind of bronzy-gold rather than  just dark green.  Female a bit more likely . . .

Tail not notched or forked. That works for female and young male.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.17.18 PM

Throat spotted or no? Unspotted – more consistent with female.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.16.42 PM

Shape of p6? A bit more angular than adjacent feather tips but not sharply-swooped. Looks like female wing tip shape.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.16.23 PM

Does it have a brood patch?

It looks like it might, but it’s likely just another case of apteria similar to the July 22 hummingbird.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.16.54 PM

So, we appear to have a hatch-year female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and I’m sad that she, too, met her end so soon after leaving her natal home.


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