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black chested hummingbird?? (1 Viewer)

Mazzy21

New member
Hi, I'm not a birder but I do maintain a hummer feeder from about April to October in lower Michigan. In years' past I see to have one "family" that are almost certainly the ruby throated that are common to Michigan - though I've only ever seen females or maybe juvenile males because I've literally only seen the actual ruby colored throat on one bird/one visit ever even though hummers stop by the feeder all day long, so I assume only mama and babies are living close by.

This year what I assume to be a second "family" is coming in. They fly in from a different direction and all of them have varying degrees of dark/black chest feathers. I can't find any hummer that is supposed to come to Michigan that looks like that. I also make the assumption that the male(s) have the really dark black chest and the female(s) look more like they are covered in dirt or soot on the chest.

*(edit) PS: when I say "chest", as I am not a birder, what I probably really mean is chest and going down their belly area

Anyone know what this hummer family might be? I read that a few stragglers of other species sometimes make it up here but it seems pretty rare for that to happen, so could this still be a ruby throat family that somehow just has a genetic anomaly of darker chest feathers? I'm stumped. Thank you!!
 

Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
First off, welcome to the forum. I can’t think of one, and usually vagrants tend to be alone and not in a group. Is there any way you can get a photo of one?
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I agree with Lisa. A photo would be very helpful.

Hi there and a warm welcome to you . (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like ;)
 

Mazzy21

New member
Thank you. I will try to get a photo of what I think is female and what I think is male of the black chested ones. One literally just came seconds ago but a wasp decided to be... a wasp and challenge and chase the hummer away. I have watched a full on aerial battle with the ruby throat female and a wasp, but this black chested gave up pretty quick. I'll post back when I get pics.

Thanks for the warm welcomes!!
 
I had this one last week that was more black I believe than the normal red I am use to seeing

RTB_8495-X4.jpg
 

jmepler

It's just a flesh wound.
United States
The throat of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird appears to be red because of iridescence. It is only visible in certain lighting conditions, otherwise it will appear black, like this bird.
 

Mazzy21

New member
This is very much how my guy was. They are gone now. I'm in Michigan and it's November (and 1st snow today). Thank you for showing me this. Now I know it's still a ruby-throated. I tried and tried to get a pic for the forum but I never could. My hummers are way too suspicious of interior movement. I do have one that will actually come to the glass door and look inside before going to the feeder. lol

Edit: sorry, I thought I quoted the pic post above but I see it's not here. That pic is very similar to mine with a very muddy/black chest.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
Walking the Bay Trail in Richmond, CA, (Berkeley/Oakland), a few of us came upon a Hummingbird that looks very much like the one above in #5, if a little less disheveled. It was in a place we commonly see Anna's and so were skeptical this was not a trick of light. Close enough, within say 20,' I was able to walk around it, to try to make sure it was what we were seeing, a green body with all black head and bill, and not sunlight bouncing off the iridescence of an Anna's. In Sibley's its potentially a "Black Chinned." Cornell on my phone, set for California, and does not show this. Am I nuts?
 

Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
It could be a Black-chinned that didn’t move south, they do stay occasionally in an odd place if the weather is still good. Andy they are there in the summer and during migrations.
 

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