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Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Larry Trupp

Winnipeg, Canada

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Artist's Description

Featured in Friends of Bangor and North Down Camera Club…

Captured in the English Gardens, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is 7–9 cm long with an 8–11 cm wingspan, and weighs about 3 g. Adults are metallic green above and greyish white below, with near-black wings. Their bill is long, straight and very slender.

The adult male, has a ruby red throat patch which may appear black in some lighting, and a dark forked tail. The female, shown here has a dark rounded tail with white tips and generally no throat patch, though she may sometimes have a light or whitish throat patch.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are solitary. Adults of this species typically only come into contact for the purpose of mating, and both males and females of any age aggressively defend feeding locations within their territory. The aggressiveness becomes most pronounced in late summer to early fall as they fatten up for migration. This is important because, as part of their migration, they must fly across the Gulf of Mexico – a feat which long confounded scientists, as a 500 mile, non-stop flight over water would seemingly require a caloric energy that far exceeds an adult hummingbird’s body weight of 3 grams. However, researchers discovered the tiny birds can nearly double their body mass in preparation for their Gulf crossing. The additional mass, stored as fat, provides enough energy for the birds to achieve this amazing flight.

They feed frequently while active during the day and when temperatures drop, particularly on cold nights, they may conserve energy by entering hypothermic torpor.

Please take the time to listen to their call HERE

Camera Details: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, 55-250mm Zoom Lens, Aperture exp 5.6, Shutter speed 1/100, ISO 400, Focal length 250mm

Artwork Comments

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