I've written before about bird feathers... especially the gorget (throat feathers) of hummingbirds. Pigment doesn't make the throat feathers appear black, or red, or purple, but it's kind of like looking through a prism and seeing rainbows... the light refraction creates an iridescence in the arrangement of feathers.
So when the light hits the hummingbird just right the throat will appear a brilliant color, instead of the flat black you just saw.
Light is only one influence... moisture is another factor. I think there are some other things that can be involved, but let's keep this simple.
Now... where we're at the most likely hummer we'll see is the Black-chinned Hummingbird. Unless the light hits it just right, it's chin is going to look black... but oh my! When the light is right...
This really doesn't do the bird justice.... lousy shot of the bird, but does show the gorget looking blue here. Most of the time we see a violet color... not red nor blue, but a lovely purple.
We have a lot of activity around the bird feeders, especially when the weather is cooler, overcast, and today, kind of misting rain a bit.
All day I've been watching a particular bird at the back feeder...
Hey... what's with the red gorget?
We could possibly have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds here, but haven't seen any so far. I know I've been seeing the same bird all day as he has declared the back feeder as his own. He sits about 6' from it and dive-bombs any other hummers that happen along. He's been at it for at least 8 hours... keep vigilance and launches his attacks.
Is the red created by the overcast weather? An odd-ball bird?
The shot on the left I took this morning... the one on the right a couple of weeks ago.
(these are the kind of photos I don't usually post... don't think I need to explain why)
I can just hear someone say "Hey Lady.. you need to get a life!"
But on a dreary day like today I might as well ponder some of life's little mysteries.
That's All For Today!