Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hummingbird I.D.

First of all, you haven't read as much from me lately because I ran out of gigabytes on our home broadband Thursday morning. I get email alerts from Verizon, so I knew I was getting low for a week or so. I did some online shopping this past month & spent quite a bit of time comparing prices before I ordered. That used up a lot of my data allowance for the month. My plan reset overnight, so I'm now reconnected to the world!

June is the month the bugs come out in the Keweenaw. That's why we see fewer birds at our bird feeders this time of year. Luckily, the activity at the hummingbird feeder picks up at the same time, so we still have a lot happening outside our windows. I have a total of 5 hummingbird feeders out right now. The population hasn't peaked yet, but I have counted up to 6 birds at once. 2 of those were males. My mom also has a feeder and was recently asking me how to tell the difference between the male and female hummingbirds. It occurred to me that maybe some of you would also like to know the difference.

The ruby-throated hummingbirds are the ones we see in this part of the country. The next composite photo illustrates the difference between the sexes. The male is on the top; the female is on the bottom. You can see that the female has a white throat/neck. The male's throat often looks completely black.

However, as you can see in this second composite photo, the male's neck sometimes looks partly reddish-orange or completely reddish-orange.

That little devil was doing his best to attract the attention of the local females.

The next 2 shots show a female at the feeder. Again, notice her white throat/neck.

I snapped the next photo of a male through one of the feeders.

He loves to sit on top of the shepherd's hooks - sometimes looking for a mate - sometimes on guard duty protecting the feeder(s) he has claimed for himself.

Hummingbirds don't actually suck up the sugar water; they stick their long tongues into the feeders and lap it up. I snapped the following photos when Mr. Hummingbird was sitting in the rain on the shepherd's hook. I didn't realize until I reviewed the photos that he stuck his tongue out. See it?

Lastly, I have a video showing you how his ruby-throat changes. Click on the following link:

Cool, huh? We had another cool critter sighting of a different sort yesterday. I'll be back with photos and video of that at the beginning of the week.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

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