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Pregnant Ruby-throated Hummingbird?


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I don't really know either, but I wonder if it's muscles and an unusual body position creating that effect. I don't think I've ever heard of birds getting noticeable bulges when they are carrying eggs, except in the case of egg binding - when the egg can't be expelled, which is a serious health issue for the female bird. I wish there were other pictures to see if the bulge is real or just an effect of the bird's position at the time of the photo.

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The bird might easily have an egg in its oviduct. Eggs are not created in the few seconds or minutes before they are laid. Single eggs represent a substantial percentage of a female bird's body mass and they take time to produce. Granted, nowhere near the amount of time for a placental mammalian youngster to reach that comparative size. Though I've never seen this, even in the hand, though I've done very little breeding-season banding, it seems a plausible reason for the obvious bulge. Unlike with Arnie, it might be a tumor.

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