[CT Birds] Hummingbird Awareness, Part 2

Mike Warner mjwarner at optonline.net
Tue Jul 12 13:42:30 EDT 2011


Dave,

     A very complete description of Hummingbird feather color changes and 
how it all happens is in a book titled "Hummingbirds" by Chester H. 
Greenwalt, copyright 1960 by the American Museum of Natural History. 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 60-12969.  The information is 
covered in all of Chapter 2, pp. 169 to 200.  A fascinating book with 70 
full color plates of Hummingbirds which was amongst the very first uses of 
high speed cameras.
Good luck!

Mike Warner
Wilton, CT.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David F Provencher" <david.f.provencher at dom.com>
To: "Frank Mantlik" <mantlik at sbcglobal.net>; "Mark Szantyr" 
<birddog55 at charter.net>; <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>; "Greg Hanisek" 
<ghanisek at rep-am.com>; "Nick Bonomo" <nbonomo at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Hummingbird Awareness, Part 2


> Frank, as you probably know, iridescent colors in the gorgets of 
> Hummingbirds are created structurally by minute feather structures that 
> refract incident light, as opposed to being cause by pigments. Perhaps 
> with these individuals, the structures are slightly different than the 
> normal population, and the refraction of the incident light is slightly 
> different. Not being very knowledgeable about structural colors and 
> refracted light, I wonder if it also might be possibly caused by the 
> incident light being already somewhat altered through atmospheric 
> refraction. An empirical answer to that would be to see the ruby color on 
> one bird and the orange/yellow on another at the same moment. My gut tells 
> me however that the variant structure seems far more likely, but I would 
> love someone with a deeper understanding of structural color anomalies to 
> chime in here.
>
> Dave
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org 
> [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Frank Mantlik
> Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 5:28 AM
> To: Mark Szantyr; ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org; Louis Bevier; Steven 
> Mlodinow; Greg Hanisek; Nick Bonomo; Bob Sargent
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Hummingbird Awareness, Part 2
>
> Mark,
> That's interesting.  I'd forgotten about it, but I too have seen, once or 
> twice,
> male Ruby-throateds with that orange-yellow iridescence.  I assumed it was 
> just
> an odd variation.
>
> Frank Mantlik
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 at charter.net>
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org; Louis Bevier <lrbevier at colby.edu>; Steven
> Mlodinow <SGMlod at AOL.COM>; Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com>; Nick Bonomo
> <nbonomo at gmail.com>; Bob Sargent <RubyThroat at aol.com>
> Sent: Mon, July 11, 2011 11:38:17 PM
> Subject: [CT Birds] Hummingbird Awareness, Part 2
>
> 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.
>
> http://birddog55.zenfolio.com/p145646176
>
> Mark
>
> Mark S. Szantyr
> 80 Bicknell Road #9
> Ashford, Connecticut 06278
> USA
>
> 1-860-487-9766
> Birddog55 at charter.net
>
>
>
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