Mystery Bird: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris

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[Mystery bird] Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, photographed in Brandon, South Dakota. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]

Image: Terry Sohl, 1 September 2008 [larger view].

Photo taken with a Canon 20D, 400 5.6L lens.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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Well, wings, beak, and build all say "hummingbird", but I don't know which one. I'm guessing a female black-chinned, since it's brown and white, but I'm only guessing.

Well, the "September 1 in South Dakota" thing really cuts down on the possibilities. I guess I'll go with a female ruby-throated hummingbird, going mainly by the Sibley range maps. Though I recognize that the photographer might well have come across a less-likely bird, and thought, hey, gotta get a photo of that.

I'm guessing summer immature ruby-throated hummingbird. The field marks are the white-tipped tail and the neck spots. The location and time of year are probably helpful as well.

By Stephen Hubbard (not verified) on 12 Apr 2009 #permalink

Based on range, white tail spots, and throat spots I'd vote for Ruby-Throated Hummie.

I'm also guessing immature Ruby, due to the darker patch below the eye.