Late summer — and this year's young birds are growing up. Mike Hamilton's camera has found them unfurling new feathers, practicing essential skills, and sometimes . . . looking a little confused by it all. [We've named the birds below their pictures, so you can guess what they are. Have fun!]
This juvenile Anna's Hummingbird has found a beautiful source of nectar.
These LBBs can get so confusing! First, a Dark-eyed Junco.
Now notice the yellow beak on the White-crowned Sparrow.
Both juvenile Song Sparrow . . .
and this Spotted Towhee have a just-got-up and scruffy look to them.
This young Purple Martin still has a few bright blue/purple highlights and mottled breast.
Now what? An immature Steller's Jay makes its landing on a convenient perch.
This Green Heron is very young while . . .
. . . this juvenile is sprouting some adult plumage - still looking disheveled.
A juvenile Mallard still sports a lot of down.
A juvenile Rufous Hummingbird's colors are coming in beautifully. . .
. . . while this juvenile Bald Eagle has very mottled plumage.
Look at this immature Cooper's Hawk - note the yellow eye.
Isn't she lovely? An immature female Wood Duck takes a spin.
You might see these two young swimmers in the same waters.
First, here's a juvenile Pied-billed Grebe and . . .
. . . then an immature female Hooded Merganser.
Wait! What!?! Waiting for more tail feathers: a juvenile American Bittern
This immature Osprey still cries for food from its parents . . .
. . . but a juvenile Great Blue Heron works for dinner.
More begging and it works! A juvenile Glaucous-winged gull is almost as big as its parent but its legs are not quite as pink and its bill still dark.
Another juvenile begs from its parent - American Crows.
This juvenile Cedar Waxwing already has distinctive plumage and soon will be a sleek, handsome adult.
A juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk strikes quite the pose! Notice the yellow eye.
Some young birds have obvious and distinctive markings - others not so much. Here is a juvenile male Common Yellowthroat with colors of an adult.
And a juvenile Warbling Vireo also has adult-like plumage with more feathers coming.
Hint: the next two are thrushes.
Also sporting spots on its breast, a juvenile American Robin is just chillin'.
An immature Spotted Sandpiper roams a shoreline.
And here's a juvenile American Dipper. "First a little yoga, then a dip?"
A juvenile Peregrine Falcon looks intense, perhaps eying something for dinner.
Take a look at the difference between these beaks on woodpeckers.
Maybe begging still works for this juvenile Tree Swallow.
While this juvenile Barn Swallow just looks patient.
Here are some streaky finches.
A juvenile House Finch found some blackberries.
And a juvenile Pine Siskin found easy pickings at a feeder.
And now, guess who. A juvenile Red Crossbill. Look at that bill!
And our last young bird, this juvenile Bushtit is small, fluffy and awfully cute.
Helpful hints from eBird:
"When in doubt use 'Immature' for any bird that is not an adult. 'Juvenile' is more specific, describing a bird still in its juvenal plumage. This plumage is held only briefly for many songbirds (just a few weeks after leaving the nest) or up to a year for some larger birds like hawks. Once a bird has molted out of this plumage, it is no longer a juvenile. If you can't determine this but know that the bird isn't an adult, just use 'Immature.'"
All photos © Mike Hamilton
Mike takes pictures every day of the year in the Pacific Northwest -- and sometimes beyond.