Observing the Ruby-throated hummingbirds revealed some quirks of the juvenile and the female. They are the most active, so I ‘know’ them best.
All photos: Canon 60D on a tripod.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
The juvenile male (identified by a few red and gold throat feathers) is the least wary of humans. He visits the feeder more often than the adults. And he is more likely to perch for a few seconds after he drinks. When he perches, he looks left and right almost constantly, sometimes angling his head in comical positions.
(This photo is similar to the one included with my Juvenile Hummingbird post.)
ISO 400, 370mm, f/5.6, 1/40.
The juvenile male does not hover long before drinking. And he usually drinks without harassment from the adult birds. I read that at some point, the female will begin treating juveniles like other birds who invade her territory and begin chasing them from the feeder. I guess it prepares them for territorial issues they will face as adults!
ISO 800, 200mm, f/4.0, 1/40.
The youngster sometimes peers directly into the camera. Or so it seems!
ISO 500, 200mm, f/4.0, 1/160.
The adult female (white tail feathers, no red spots on throat) tends to hover in front of the feeder for several seconds before, during, and after feeding. While hovering, she looks up and turns her entire body left and right to survey the area. I think she has claimed this feeder as her own, since males rarely show up here. When they do, she chases them all day.
ISO 800, 220mm, f5.6, 1/60
One of the female’s quirks is to investigate the area under the opening of the feeder. She moves all around this area, poking her bill and extending her tongue as well. I have no idea why she does this, but I think it is interesting. Update: Thanks to a comment by one of the readers of this post, I think it is likely she was looking for an insect snack!
ISO 640, 200mm, f/4.0, 1/160.