Female hummingbirds outnumber male hummingbirds in nature.
Young Ruby-throated hummingbird males look like females during their first summer. They don’t have ruby-red throats and they have white markings on the tips of their tails like the females.
Some of these young males will begin to show a few small red feathers around their throats in late summer and early autumn of their “hatch year”.
And so, as I get a very close look at the hummers on the feeder outside my kitchen window, I’ve been spying on young males. I know they are hatch year male Ruby-throated hummers because they’re sporting new, clean, tiny red dots on their throats.
The tiny red dots glint in the light as the young hummers move.
It’s something to get excited about because there just are not that many males. And these can be identified as having been hatched just this breeding season.
Sadly, they are leaving me.
Off to warm Central American wintering grounds where the hatch year males will grow out full gorgets of ruby-red feathers before I see them again in spring.