Monday, August 5, 2019

Juvenile Hummingbird Behavior

Young hummingbirds leave the nest full of curiousity and uncertainty. 
They have to figure things out quickly and innocence is short-lived, but their initial hesitation and confusion is easy to spot in the garden.  The hummingbird population in my yard in east Tennessee more than doubled in mid July when the first broods of nestlings left the nest.  A male Ruby-throated hummer dominated the five feeders on the garden side of the house, but he tolerated other hummingbirds in the garden. 
This made juvenile-watching opportunities!  How do you know you are watching a young hummingbird?  Behavior.  Before they become aggressive bombardiers, chasing each other with bad tempers, their behavior is tentative.
Still strengthening their wing muscles, they sometimes perch on stems to find nectar and insects or just to pause and look around.

Which part of this flower has the nectar anyway?
Hummingbird and Coneflowers.  Original watercolor by Vickie Henderson.

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