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Part 1: Hummingbirds: The Ruby Throated Hummingbird and the Black-Chinned Hummingbird



BY PATSY GLENN







Hummingbirds are named for the sound of their wings.

Summertime in Wimberley brings many sounds and sights of our two most common hummingbirds. Ruby-throated hummingbirds fly impossible distances across the Gulf of Mexico, arrive at the coast and spread north and east. Some stop and some stay here. They are the only hummingbirds found east of the Mississippi River.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Archilochus colubris
Photograph © Greg Lasley


Black-chinned hummingbirds have made their trek from Mexico, often flying over a corner of the Gulf.

Arriving hungry, they hover at our windows, stare us in the eye and deliver the message, "Hang out those feeders quick!"


Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Archilochus alexandri
© Luke Wade

Which is which?


Both the Black-chinned and Ruby-throated female may at first seem a dull gray-brown. But watch for flashes of iridescent green in the sun.

Black-chinned males have the same glistening green above, but the dark head, gleaming purple gorget and white below is unlike the shining red gorget of the Ruby-throated hummingbird.



Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
© Carole Franklin








 


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