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Word of the Week: Gorget

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Word of the week is GORGET [ gawr-jit ](noun): a patch of colour on the throat of a bird or other animal, especially a hummingbird.

We have been noticing lots of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in High Park this year. If you see a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, you can tell the sex of the bird if it has a bright red gorget (male). But look carefully, the bright gorget looks dark if it isn’t in bright light. The females throat is white.

This is the time of year when hummingbirds are starting to migrate. If you have a hummingbird feeder in your yard, make sure you leave it up until well into October – as the hummingbirds that are coming through on their way south will appreciate the opportunity to stop in and fuel up as they continue their migration.

Of course there are lots of rumours out there that if you leave your hummingbird feeder out into the fall it will result in hummingbirds not migrating. That is simply not true. There have been many studies done that have found that the hummingbirds you see coming to your bird feeder into the fall are actually migrating birds. As well there have been some people that have reported seeing a different species (other than the Ruby-throated Hummingbird) at their feeders in the fall.

The next time you are walking around in High Park take a look around to see if you can spot any hummingbirds!