While this young Ruby-throat gets suited up in its hummingbird helmet, it's completely unaware of all the dangers lurking in the flower patch and those from above. Young hummingbirds are incredibly naive to the point that they completely disregard any dangers around them. There are many ground predators that hide amongst the vegetation just waiting for their opportunity, but the vulnerability of young hummingbirds doesn't last very long. They grow quickly and are taught quickly. The adult male and female hummingbirds are quick to teach lessons to those naive young birds. With swift attacks and 60 slaps per second cross the side of the head, those young birds wise up in a hurry. It doesn't take long before they learn how to feed like an adult. They start to withdraw very quickly after they insert their bill in order to see their surrounding. It requires far more energy to feed this way, and they also gain less calories than they normally would, but safety becomes very important very quickly.
As for this young bird, all that matters right now are all those bright colours and sweet nectar.
Ruby-throated hummingbird, N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta. August 2016.
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