Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"I just saw a baby hummingbird!"

Well, no, I haven't and not right now... But you may have, were you so lucky to have found a nest some hot summer day. And if you were so lucky, I'm seriously jealous. 15 years of living in breeding hummingbird territory and zip. Zilch. No nests found on my property. *phbbt*

Strictly speaking, a bird that is out and about on its own is more of a juvenile than a "baby", and is usually not smaller than an adult by the time it's operating under its own power. Some young birds are actually larger than their parents--which makes sense, considering they are being stuffed full of food they didn't have to work to acquire, and in some species they may even have larger feathers than an adult's in order to compensate for less flight experience...

Most people who claim to have "baby hummingbirds" flitting among their flowers are seeing the appropriately-named Hummingbird Moth. They are hummingbird green and can zig and zag with the best of the avian hummers. Not to mention they are smaller than their namesake bird and fly in the daytime as well.

Don't know what it was about the hummingbird moths this past summer, but they were the most amazing rusty-red color as well as hummer green... And there were a lot of them. 

Good thing they were so plentiful; it upped my chances of getting a good photo. Which I did. Ha!

Here the wing blur is a good thing. That sure looks like a figure eight to me, and that motion is what allows a hummingbird to fly backwards. These day-flying moths can as well. Willing to bet that twist is why...

The almost-perfect photo. I could almost convince myself that having the moth almost-but-not-quite-in-frame makes it a more interesting picture. Almost.