By Derek Stoner, Conservation Project Coordinator
On June 15, I visited the Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest at Coverdale Farm for the third Wednesday in a row. At this point, the nestling hummingbird is an estimated 15-16 days old and looks much more like an adult hummingbird. The beak looks to have grown an additional quarter-inch in one week. Notice the bit of yellow color in the corner of the hummingbird’s beak (the gape flange) that is a common feature of young birds.
In the past week, the pin feathers on the hummingbird’s back grew out and are now fully-formed feathers exhibiting the classic iridescent greenish-gold hue of an adult hummingbird. There are just a few remaining buff-colored down feathers on the uppertail coverts, soon to be dropped as the tail feathers grow out and the bird prepares for its first flight.
Stay tuned for one final update on the hummingbird, before it fledges and makes its first flight!