[CT Birds] Hummingbird Awareness, Part 2

Mark Szantyr birddog55 at charter.net
Mon Jul 11 23:38:17 EDT 2011

Well, I learned something today.  Last week I observed an apparent male
Ruby-throated Hummingbird at a local feeder but rather than showing the rich
ruby red iridescence in the gorget, this bird was orange to orange-yellow,
similar in color to the orange of an adult male Baltimore Oriole.  In every
other way it appeared to be a typical Ruby-throated male.   I contacted Bob
Sargent, the guru of hummingbird banders and Ruby-throat aficionado,
described the bird and he mentioned that he has seen birds in molt show this
type of coloring.  Today, I was able to get some images of the bird.  I used
a very high ISO as I wanted to use natural light and not flash in order to
keep the colors close to what I was seeing in the field.  Though the images
are far from stellar, lo and behold, this bird WAS in molt.  Perhaps some
aspect of this process somehow altered the reflective properties of the
gorget and the typical rich red was now reflected as orange.  Again, a
lesson in not putting all of your eggs in the "one field-mark" basket. The
gallery is below andI include an image of a more typical ruby-throated
Ruby=throat for comparison.



Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278

Birddog55 at charter.net

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