Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Royal Catchfly in Waukesha County on August 2, 2017

The wildflowers are blooming away these days in the yard and every once in awhile a Ruby-throated Hummingbird puts on a show. They have not been seen often, but I did get a couple of shots yesterday of what I think is a juvenile on the Royal Catchfly. Images were taken on August 2, 2017.

Getting that nectar in the Royal Catchfly

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage in Waukesha County Wisconsin on September 16, 2016

We still have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. The hummers have favored the Scarlet Sage and Zinna plants for the most part but often frequent the nectar feeders too.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a Zinna

Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding a chick on the nest in Walworth County Wisconsin on September 4, 2016

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to photograph a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the nest feeding a chick and did not pass it up. Running into Anne Morretti out birding, she mentioned 2 of her birding friends Joann and Monica had an active bird nest. I followed the excitement of the event for a couple of weeks from the first moment of seeing a nest with a female sitting on it, the tiny beak from the chick above the nest, till the day the bird fledged. There was just one chick and the female was always hanging around of course. Once in awhile a male was seen, but I never saw it near the nest. To find a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest, you just have to be in the right place at the right time when an adult goes to the nest, and they were. The nests are just so tiny! A big thank you to Monica, Joann and Anne for sharing this event. A difficult event to photograph as lighting changed by the second, up in a dark tree and the branches were always moving so I apologize for any poor quality images as some I thought should be included in this post. I have put the images in order as the way they happened. Images were taken from August 22, 2016 thru September 4, 2016.

It all started here.......The female adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting on the nest...

It all started here…….The female adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting on the nest…

The nest, up in a large tree tree

The nest, up in a large tree is about 2″ across and 1″ deep

At this point, not even sure if there is a chick in the nest or and egg...

At this point, not even sure if there is a chick in the nest or an egg, is she just house cleaning?

She sits on the nest, and out comes a feather, still don't know if was laying in the nest from her or is off a chick?

She sits on the nest, and out comes a feather, still don’t know if the feather was laying in the nest from her earlier or is off a chick?

Then the moment, a beak is seen poking up from the nest...

Then the moment, a beak is seen poking up from the nest, it is a chick!

The chick is growing fast, there is "Mom"

The chick is growing fast, there is the female on the branch along with the chick in the nest, calling “Mom”!

Waiting for food

Waiting for food

The female lands on the nest with some food...

The female lands on the nest with some food…

The feeding begins

The feeding begins

The feeding continues...

The feeding continues…

The feeding continues...

The feeding continues down deep…

And they take a short break

The end of the first portion

And the take a short break

And they take a short break

And they start right up and the feeding continues

And they start right up and the feeding continues

And it contiues

And it continues down deep

End of the 2 part feeding which I saw often

End of the 2 part feeding which I saw often

Nothing goes to waste...

Nothing goes to waste…

pp

A very short rest after feeding, then the female leaves the nest till the next feeding that were running about 15-20 minutes apart

I will be back soon

I’m leaving for now

I will be back soon, chick in the back ground "Mom"!

I will be back soon, chick in the background “Mom”!

Female perches in a near by tree on a branch within sight of the nest for awhile typically after feeding the chick

Female perches in a near by tree on a branch within sight of the nest for awhile typically after feeding the chick

Spreading the wings and doing some fluttering, practicing up for the first flight out of the nest to a near by branch

Stretching those wings

Preening and working that tongue

Preening and working that tongue

Two birds in one nest, I think the female was trying to open the nest up more which is what they do as the chick grows

Two birds in one nest, I think the female was trying to open the nest up more which is what they do as the chick grows, the nest expands

Preening

Preening

Just about time to fly, but the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well now!

Spreading those wings…

Just about time to fly, but the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well now!

Just about time to fly, the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 31, 2016

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been hanging around the yard here this summer in Waukesha County. We have seen very little of them all summer but in just the last couple of days they have been hitting the Royal Catchfly, one of the many plants they get nectar from here in the yard. The male is seen less and I am still hoping for some shots of that beauty. I took a few minutes today to photograph the adult female in action. Images were taken on July 31, 2016.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Falling nectar

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin on June 16, 2016

With not much going on bird wise, I decided to make a run out to Wyalusing State Park to see what was going on. Bruce joined me for the day and we had a great time. Some of the species seen in the park were Cerulean Warbler, a life bird for me, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Dickcissels, Scarlet Tanager, Blue Indigo Buntings, American Bald Eagles, and very many Baltimore Orioles to name a few. The highlight of the day were the 30-40 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the 4 feeders at once at the visitor center at the park entrance. I have never seen more than a couple of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at once so seeing 30-40 at once was an amazing treat. One of the staff had noted that hummingbirds were recently banded and they had 4 birds that had returned from the previous year, how exciting! For the most park a cloudy day, the sun showed for a few minutes with nice mild temps. Images were taken on June 16, 2016.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female, blurry back view

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female, blurry back view

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Bottle Gentian in Waukesha County Wisconsin on September 5, 2015

At least 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. Bottle Gentian has been a favorite once again as it is in full bloom now. Still amazes me how their bill goes into the top, then inside so carefully for the nectar and the plant almost looks untouched. With Cardinal Flower and Zinnias still blooming those are also still flowers of choice. They are still going to the nectar feeders along with other wildflowers in the yard. Images were taken on September 5, 2015.

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

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Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Bottle Gentian

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Scarlet Sage in Waukesha County Wisconsin on August 30, 2015

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still hanging around the yard here in Waukesha County. One of the plants they really enjoy is the Scarlet Sage. The stunning scarlet color and great nectar source make this plant a real hummer favorite. I took a few minutes today to photograph this adult female on a couple of the plants in action. Images were taken on August 30, 2015.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Cardinal Flower in Waukesha Wisconsin on August 9, 2015

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been hanging around the yard this summer and the Cardinal Flower is always a favorite for them. Today I took a few pictures to share some of the excitement. This bird is a female, correct me if I am wrong. Images were taken on August 9, 2015 in Waukesha County.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm in Waukesha County Wisconsin July 5, 2015

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been in the yard here since spring. I photographed this female early this afternoon in a bed of Red Bee Balm. This plant is a magnet for these birds. Images were taken on July 5, 2015.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the Bottle Gentian September 10, 2014

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been visiting the Bottle Gentian plants here. It is amazing how they go for the nectar in these wildflowers. In some situations they probe into the side of the blooms with their bill. At other times they go in from the top with their bill. In my observations, if one method is not possible, they go the other method. They have entered both ways on the bloom clusters weather the blooms are on the inside or outside in the cluster. We have had 3 Rudy-throated Hummingbirds, female, male and a young male, all 3 have hit these Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii plants. Images were taken in Waukesha Wisconsin September 6-10, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Waukesha Wisconsin September 4, 2014

Some recent images taken in Waukesha Wisconsin of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on various plants. Images show a young male and adult female on the flower species Cardinal Flower, Yellow Giant Hyssop and Zinnia’s. Images were taken August 24 through September 4, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species with flying nectar!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female over Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Cardinal Flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male on Zinnia species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female on Yellow Giant Hyssop

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Smooth Phlox July 25, 2014

Something I have never witnessed before was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird stopping for some nectar at this rare wildflower, Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima interior. It was only a few seconds, but a beautiful moment at that. I assume this bird is a female adult. Photographs were taken on July 25, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly July 23, 2014

I had the opportunity again to photograph the Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying Royal Catchfly (Silene regia).  Present today was a female, male and young male, they only showed up one at a time. This fascinating species favor red tubular flowers most of all.  Royal Catchfly, a native of Missouri, is an excellent candidate here. Photographs taken on July 23, 2014 in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly

I had the opportunity to photograph the Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying Royal Catchfly (Silene regia).  I am assuming this is a female. This fascinating species favor red tubular flowers most of all.  Royal Catchfly, a native of Missouri, is an excellent candidate here. Photographs taken on July 20, 2014 in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin July 17, 2014

I did some birding at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee this morning. The highlight was a young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird working some native plants there. The Green Heron was also present along with the common Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. Beautiful day to be out birding with mild temps, sunshine and lows winds.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird om Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Hoary Vervain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Wild White Indigo

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Wild White Indigo

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Penstemon spp.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Penstemon spp.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Penstemon spp.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Penstemon spp.

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird photographed in Waukesha County on September, 18 2013.

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

What is Leucism? 

Leucism is an uncommon condition in birds.  This condition is caused by a genetic mutation which prevents pigments, particularly melanin, from being deposited evenly in the bird’s feathers.  Leucistic birds have melanin elsewhere in their bodies which is why they may have dark eyes, legs, and bills.  However, their true color will be missing or greatly reduced due to the lack of proper pigmentation.

What is Albinism?

Leucism is similar to albinism as in both cases the birds may be completely white.  However, albinism is defined as a complete absence of melanin in an animal.  Truly albino species will have pink eyes as the only color seen will be caused by blood vessels behind their eyes.  They will also have pink bills, legs, and feet.  Albinism is extremely rare in birds. 

Notes:

Leucistic birds are extremely uncommon for a number of reasons.  They are not thought to live very long because their white feathers make it difficult for them to hide from predators.  If they do stay alive, it is difficult for them to find a mate and successfully pass on their genetic mutation.  Additionally, the melanin found in regular birds adds strength to the feathers.  Leucistic birds lacking melanin have weaker feathers and thus have a more difficult time flying in severe weather.  Last, the reflective properties of white feathers may be problematic for birds who rely on solar energy for heat.

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Leucistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird

To see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds without Leucism, please visit my posts featuring this bird on Red Bee Balm, Royal Catchfly and Cardinal Flower.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Royal Catchfly

I had another opportunity to photograph the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in my backyard, this time enjoying Royal Catchfly (Silene regia).  As I mentioned in my last post on this fascinating species (Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Bee Balm), these hummingbirds favor red tubular flowers most of all.  Royal Catchfly, a native of Missouri, is an excellent candidate here.

Photographs taken July 21, 2013 in Waukesha County, WI.

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To see the full gallery of images, please click here.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Just this week, I had the chance to photograph a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Bee Balm at length in our yard in Waukesha, WI.  The action I captured was of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird repeatedly visiting a bed of Red Bee Balm in our yard. This solitary species is enjoyable to watch as it darts, hovers, rotates, perches, and flies both forwards and backwards (Hummingbirds are the only bird species currently known to fly backwards).  They favor red tubular flowers for nectar as is demonstrated by the vibrant Red Bee Balm pictured (Monarda didyma).

Pictures taken on July 15, 2013 in Waukesha County.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Red Bee Balm

To see the full gallery of images, please click here.