This is the hummingbird I “adopted” over the weekend. (I’m not the one holding the birdie, but I did get to let it fly from my hand after I took this photo.)

My Birdie

I think this is a female ruby-throated hummingbird, based on what Master Permit Bander Vernon Kleen told us at the sixth annual Hummingbird Festival. (I have to admit, I was concentrating on taking pictures more than I was on listening to what Vern had to say.) Male ruby-throated hummingbirds have … well, ruby-colored throats — once they’ve matured, anyway. Females and young males do not have ruby-colored throats. Apparently, you can also tell their gender by their tail-feathers, and one way to determine a younger bird from a more mature bird is by whether their beaks have ridges.

Young hummingbirds have ridges or tiny notches on their beaks — basically, from having their beaks smooshed whilst the baby birds are still in the egg, according to photographer David Brewer! The ridges get worn down, however, as the birds dip their beaks into flowers and feeders and what-not; hence, older birds have smoother beaks.

Anyhoo, I dig hummingbirds. Can’t help it.

Hummingbird & Sunflowers 1

Hummingbird & Sunflowers 2

Hummingbird & Sunflowers 3

Hummingbird & Sunflower 4

And along the lines of SNL’s “Find the Pope in the Pizza Contest” from the 1970s: How about a “Find the Hummingbird in the Rose of Sharon Contest”?!

Humminbird & Pink Flowers