How quickly do hummers mature?

peachymomo(Ca 8)August 11, 2014

Hello everyone, I have a question about the hummingbird I've been seeing in my garden this year.

I've been slowly transforming the landscape around my house, it was pretty dismal when we got here but I've been making it better as best I can. I finished my first flower garden last year and was disappointed by the absence of hummers, I'd see them occasionally but not as often as I'm accustomed to. On top of that I never heard their screechy little songs, which I was even more accustomed to. After a little research I found out that locally Anna's hummingbird is the most common, and apparently much more vocal than most.

Then this spring I started seeing one more frequently, feeding on my flowers and then zooming up to the branches above to trumpet his territorial tune. This was the behavior I was used to at my previous gardens, but this particular hummer lacked the flashes of iridescent color that I'm used to seeing. I would observe him whenever I could, and I only noticed brown, cream, and grey colors.

Then one day the light caught him just right and I saw a small, irregular patch of red on his throat. It occurred to me that he was probably a young hummer, and wasn't done growing all of his pretty feathers. Sure enough, about a month later, I'm noticing flashes of green from his back when I see him in the garden. So, my question is: how quickly does it usually take for an immature male to become mature and have all of his iridescent feathers? Is spring to late summer a normal time frame? I'm very curious. The thought of my new garden becoming the territory of a young bird out searching for his first place to live is kind of warm and fuzzy.

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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Ruby throats (I know yours are not) get mature male plumage their second year. They sometimes show some spots of color the first summer. So it sounds like you do have an immature male looking for his first home.

And I agree, the idea of providing for one of these little guys is very warm and fuzzy :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:33PM
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