Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hummer Bird Celebration

After setting up camp at Goose Island State Park the night before, we went to the Rockport Hummer Bird Celebration on Saturday. Talks, booths, and vendor exibits were held at a local middle school while bird watching opportunities were provided at a number of homes with established gardens and feeders that had opened their yards to the public.

We were told by locals that the hummingbird concentrations were lower than previous years. However, we were certainly impressed to see dozens of hummers at a single feeder. The bird feeding station at Goose Island State Park had a dozen feeders swarming with hummers. Unfortunately, the station was swarming with even more mosquitoes. I had to watch from under mosquito netting.

Here is a video version ...

All of the birds we saw were Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Only one in twenty was an adult male with a flashy gorget. We saw many juvenile males. The two pictures below of a one perched in a tree near the Fulton Mansion show the five-o-clock shadow of new dark feathers coming in on the throat.

We set up our own feeder at the campsite and caught an image of this juvenile male showing a newly sprouted red feather at the center of his throat and still retaining the white tips on the tail feathers.

While at the Norcross home, watching hummers in their yard, we got caught in a rain squall. Huddling under a patio umbrella, we got to watch hummingbirds frolicking in the heavy rain. They really enjoyed the impromptu shower, though they looked like wet rats.

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