Juvenile Blinking Male Ruby Throated Hummer?

Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
131
Location
Chicago Il
This hummer actually landed on a branch to feed. In the first photo it looks like a female with just the white tip of the tail visible. In the second photo, he or she was blinking. I never saw that before and found it interesting to see. In the third photo two red spots are visible on the throat. My take is that this is a juvenile male but males don't have the white tip on the tail. Any experts care to chime in?

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Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,864
Location
Alabama
Rich, it is a juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Young males like females of any age, have white tips on the outer three rectrices on each side of their tail feathers. Nice shots!

Here is a great web site to help you identify the sex of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

http://www.rubythroat.org/RTHUExternalMain.html

I found this site years ago when I was trying to determine if a picture I took of Ruby-throated Hummingbird was a juvenile or female. It turned out that I had a picture of an old female that had two or three spots on her throat. Some older females can exhibit one or more red spots.

Where you assumed that the bird was just blinking was probably due to it swallowing nectar. Birds normally will close their nictitating membrane while eating, drinking and taking a bath. The nictitating membrane is a transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye for protection and to moisten the eye while also keeping visibility.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
131
Location
Chicago Il
Thanks for the information and the link Debbie. I enjoy watching the hummingbirds but really know very little about them. Thanks again.
Rich
 

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