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Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

February 27 2017 at 1:27 PM

Joe M.  (Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Here is a photo of a bird that has been around for several months this winter and still molting. I think he will depart whether his gorget molt is complete or not! I'm sort of interested since many believe hummers complete their molt before they head north, so I will try to get photos at least weekly until he leaves. He only uses my north side feeder so its an easy set-up and should be easy to follow the progress of his gorget molt.

MRT_JJM6014 Cropped_02-27-17_102918
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Mar. 8th Photo
2nd yr MRT
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Joe M.
Sturbridge, MA


    
This message has been edited by flhummer on Mar 8, 2017 4:18 PM


 
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Cathy P (Downers Grove, IL Zone 5b)
(Login Bazuhi)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

February 28 2017, 8:01 PM 

Nice shot!
Cathy P
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Joni
(Login Yodlei44)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

February 28 2017, 9:01 PM 

He's cute.

Joni
Elwood, IL
Zone 5
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Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

February 28 2017, 9:21 PM 

Wow, beautiful shot Joe. Love the feather detail!!

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Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

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Nancy Newfield
(Login humband1)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 2 2017, 6:36 AM 

Joe, in my meager experience, Ruby-throateds often depart when they complete their primary [wing feathers] molt. However, it is often difficult to determine actual departure date because these birds seem to wander around before returning to their original site for a day or two and then taking off for parts unknown. That said, completion of the gorget and forecrown usually coincide with the completion of the wings.
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Alex
(Login Sweeper13)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 2 2017, 9:12 AM 

Nice shot Joe. Still a few more months for us.
Alex
Northlake, Il.
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 2 2017, 11:54 AM 

Nan, this reminds of something. Aren't Ruby-throated like a lot of neotropical migrants? The first to arrive are the males which are followed over the next couple of weeks by the females. We see this with easily sexed birds like warblers up here. I was reading some studies recently about some radio tagged neotropical migrants that showed that after hatch year birds making their first trip north tending to remain a lot longer at stopovers than truly mature birds. I thought it was interesting and something we would never know without the radio tags.

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 2 2017, 11:57 AM 

Nice work Joe-- I dont know how all the molting coinsides with migration movement I just know that when I see them they appear to be in full rich color in gorget and feather.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 3 2017, 5:29 PM 

Here is another that showed up today and I don't think its the same one I posted the other day.
Gorget molt progression is quite different compared to the bird using the North side feeder!

He also is a very wary bird and flees at the first slap of the shutter unlike the other bird that is quite tolerant of the noise.
As Nancy commented, overwintering hummers do a fair amount of wandering about prior to their northern migration. I believe this little guy just wandered around and found my yard. The adult gorgeous male that was using this feeder until a few days ago has probably departed, since this one has not been challenged at the feeder all day (except for the shutter slap)!

2nd YMRT_JJM6079 cropped_03-03-17_144541
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Taken on the 8th of Mar.
2nd yr MRT
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Joe M.
Sturbridge, MA


    
This message has been edited by flhummer on Mar 9, 2017 11:12 AM


 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Ready to Migrate? He will decide!

March 5 2017, 5:40 PM 

I took about 45 photos today of the hummer posted on the 27th but didn't catch one that showed his gorget in the same light or aspect.
So any changes over the last 6 days are impossible to discern, at least from my viewpoint. Will try a for more in the next few days or as long as he sticks around.

This thread continues under the following thread: "Over wintering, over ? update Mar. 2017"


Joe M.
Sturbridge, MA


    
This message has been edited by flhummer on Mar 19, 2017 3:06 PM


 
 
 
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