--- Swamphen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Had an immature male Archilochus sp. hummingbird in our yard today. I
> realize that it is most likely a Ruby-throated, however a few points
> made me
> wonder...
> *It was flicking its tail when perched - not really often, but not
> off-and-on either.
> *It did have a grayish-looking forehead (just over the bill).
> However, a point in favor of RTHU was its "mask" - quite a bit of
> contrast
> between the "face" and the neck.
> We did get some video of the bird, but the overcast and the distance the
> bird was at make it of less-than-excellent quality, plus we aren't able
> to
> "grab" a still off of it...
> Any thoughts on ID?
> Thanks,
> -S.P.MacCumhail
> Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida


During the 80's we banded and photographed a lot of Black-chinneds and
there was considerable variation with regard to juveniles as far as
contrast. Not having held that many Ruby-throateds in hand, I would be
reluctant to compare juvenile variability. Based on the tailmoving
observation I would just point out that perching is not eliciting the same
tail pumping that hovering does. It is much more diagnostic in these
closely related species, especially when dealing with immature birds. We
were during our work in July and August and did not see the really late

It is a tough call, but I would error on the safe side and figure

Good luck with the videos!


Bob Parcelles, Jr
Pinellas Park, FL
[log in to unmask]
 "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
                       --William Shakespeare

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