Question I read that the only hummingbird I should be seeing where I live, in Columbia County, NY, would be a Ruby-Throated. The male should be green with a ruby throat and the female the same only without the ruby throat. The only one (or ones) I see at my feeder seem to be brown with a lighter brown belly and very tiny. Could they be a different type? They don't appear green at all.
Thank you for your time.
Answer You are correct in saying that the only hummingbird you would see is the Ruby-throated. What you are seeing are young, immature birds that haven't developed their adult plumage. They are the same size as the adults but look smaller because they are so dull-colored.
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Thanks very much for your prompt and informative response.
Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.
Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website www.ornithology.com, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.
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Publications Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.
Education/Credentials PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.
Awards and Honors Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.