WildNaturePhotos, LLC is a stock photo agency run by photographers Rich and Margie Wagner. Along with photographers Ron Austing, Noel and Helen Snyder, and Greg Smith, we license world-class imagery of wildlife, nature and environmental subjects. Our film/digital image collection has an especially strong emphasis on the natural history of birds, reptiles, venomous animals, as well as the Sonoran Desert and Central and South America. Combined, we are the authors of numerous popular books and scientific articles on natural history, and our images have appeared in countless magazines, books, field guides, museum exhibits, advertisements and calendars.

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  1. Rich Wagner says:

    Nancy, thanks for your comments.

    The language I used was that of Garrido and Kirkconnel in Feld Guide to the Birds of Cuba. I understand that immature males frequently resemble adult females. Changing the title and opening of the article would make the comments hard to understand. It is what it is.

    Interestingly, essentially all Cuban field guides feel it is not possible to see a male Bee Hummingbird in (adult) “breeding plumage” most of the year. I was told to return to Cuba in March or April if I wanted to photograph a male Bee Hummingbird in all its glory. I did return in March/April, and I did see and photograph adult plumaged male Bees – after not seeing any on two previous trips, one in October and the other in November(!). The Cubans feel they molt back to “immature” plumage beginning in June. Perhaps it is more likely that the adults go somewhere on the island where they are not seen. Hummingbird feeders are unheard of in Cuba (it’s not for a lack of sugar! Cubans claim hummingbird feeders don’t work there), so you must find the birds in the field. So who knows. I met Arturo Kirkconnel on the last trip and was going to discuss this with him, but ran out of time. Next time.

    Thanks for your kind words about my Southeast Asia photography. It was a great trip.

    –Rich

  2. Nancy Asquith says:

    Superb photos! And kudos on your work in Southeast Asia!

    Please, though, fix the first sentence and title of your article on sexing bee hummingbirds to delete references to the “nonbreeding plumage” of hummingbirds.
    It is not unusual for juvenile birds to resemble females. For example, a website on ruby-throated hummingbirds says: “Adult Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris, are sexually dimorphic; i.e., the adult male and adult female are different in external appearance. However, young males “masquerade” as females until their first winter, at which time they attain adult male plumage. This can make ageing and sexing difficult during summer and fall after young of the year have fledged. From May through October, do not assume all white-throated hummers at your feeders are females; some undoubtedly will be young males.”[http://www.rubythroat.org/rthuexternalmain.html]

    And it certainly is not just hummingbirds. I still remember seeing a female common merganser leading some 10 smaller copies of herself about Almaden Lake in San Jose. A little research confirmed the suspicion that they probably were not all females.

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