Just like a young kitten or puppy, the playfulness is evident in young hummingbirds. For 3 weeks hummingbirds grow up in a nest just big enough to hold the two young. Their safe surroundings are all they know. They reach a point where they start to itch for the outside world and begin with a few clumsy bursts from the nest to nearby branches, and in time they'll make the final escape into a world of intrigue. Colors, shapes, moving objects, and other living things grab their attention. They'll poke and taste everything they possibly can until it's all filed into memory, some things to avoid and others to never be forgotten.
Watching how birds behave is one of the easiest ways of identifying whether it's an adult or juvenile. Adult birds will use the least amount of energy to gain the most amount of food, while the young birds will attempt food in the most awkward locations, with nothing off bounds.
In the case with this young Ruby-throat, "Freckle", he would bypass not a single flower. It was those deeply hidden flowers that had the least amount of visits, and therefore had the most amount of remaining nectar.
It was easy to identify Freckle each time he would arrive, by his one red gorget feather more developed than all the others.
Juvenile Male Ruby-throat, N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 2017
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