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Male or Female? Adult or Juvenile?
Field Markings of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are easy to identify. However, it's difficult to distinguish adult females from juvenile males and females in summer and fall. They all look alike! The chart below lists the field markings that can help you identify these Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Test your skills with this photo gallery.

male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Laura Erickson

Adult Male
Crown: metallic dark green.
Throat: metallic ruby-red
Back: metallic green or bronze-green
Wings: near-black
Breast and belly: usually brownish-gray
Flanks: metallic bronze-green
Tail: Forked. Feathers pointed and all dark (no white tips)

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird adult
Joan Garvey

Adult Female
Crown: metallic dark green
Throat: white, or with occasional faint tan streaking
Back: metallic green or bronze-green
Wings: near-black
Breast and belly: white
Flanks: light brown
Tail: Fan-shaped. Feathers all rounded, with white tips on the outer 3 feathers on each side of tail.
First-year male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
R. S.

Juvenile Male
Looks identical to adult female, except:

Throat usually has some dark streaking (green or black, sometimes tan) that appears later in summer. Nearly all birds with noticeably streaked throats are young males.

Throat of some young males may show one or several red throat feathers in late summer, but do not get a full red gorget until their first winter.

juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird female
Juvenile Female
Looks identical to adult female.
Meret Wilson  
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