Ruby-throated Hummingbird, head molt
Photo © Bill Hilton Jr.
In late summer, adult Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically begin molting feathers on their throats and foreheads. The female in the photo above was in especially heavy head molt, with so many "pinfeathers" that she looked almost like a hedgehog. The sheaths that surround the feather as it develops soon fall off, allowing the feather to fluff out and take on a more typical appearance. Photo of a hand-held bird captured for banding taken at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History near York, South Carolina, on 7 August 2002.

Photo © Roger Smith
In September 2001, Roger Smith of Germantown TN took this excellent photo of an adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in his yard with an Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom. Notice the typical grayish belly and greenish flanks. Although the white collar appears to go all the way around the neck, it does not.

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