Thanks to Sheri Williamson (author of the Peterson Field Guide to Hummingbirds) and her recent post titled Orange-throated hummingbirds – not so mysterious after all, we have a solid contribution towards understanding the orange throats of some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, although I contend that mysteries still remain. She explains the details of iridescent color on hummingbirds, and a […]
Archives for August 2011
Patterns of translucence in wing feathers provide useful identification clues for many species of birds – terns, gulls, hawks, and others. Generally the translucent parts of the wing are those where there are fewer layers of feathers to block the light, and less pigment in the feathers. I’ve written about this before in my book […]
Now updated by a new post Progress on the Orange-throated hummingbird mystery. This adds to my previous post about orange-throated hummingbirds. After hearing from a couple of hummingbird banders affirming that they do not see a change in throat color in the fall as male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds go though their summer molt (and the fact […]
I’ve just updated the New Art page, adding a few paintings that I’ve completed in the past month, including the Pileated Woodpecker shown here. Thanks for taking a look.
Albino and partial albino birds The presence of white feathers on a normally dark bird is the most frequently seen color abnormality. Every birder can expect to encounter white or partly-white birds with some regularity, and the more striking examples will stand out even to novices. All black and brown coloration in birds comes from […]
Update 16 August: a new post Progress on the orange-throated hummingbird mystery. Update 14 Aug 2011: A follow-up to this post is now available, tempering some of these points and adding more questions – Orange-throated Hummingbirds: more questions. Every year in August and September, a few perplexed observers in eastern North America send out questions about […]
A few records of “Snowy” Egrets with long head plumes have turned up in places where Little Egret has also occurred. Are they hybrids, or just rare variants of Snowy? Update 6 Aug 2011 – I had overlooked Martin Reid’s photos from Texas in May 1998 of a very similar long-plumed Snowy-like Egret. So obviously there is […]