The new map is up and running so start watching for your first siting and post your report using the following link
Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 Ruby-throated Migration Map
The excitment is beginning isn't it Penny. In a couple of weeks we will be tracking the Ruby's migration northward. According to the 2006 Map we could be getting a report anyday now that one has been sighted. Feb. 25 was the earliest last year.
I have two feeders cleaned and outside my computer room window just waiting. We are supposed to have a high of 79 today. Infact we are supposed to have 70's through Monday.
yes it won't be long now and they will be heading into the gulf coast. Not as nice here today as it was the last two days. In fact it is snowing like a banshee....at least 3 inches within the last 45 minutes and it is the heavy wet stuff....YUK! Supposed to only last a day I think and then warm back up a bit.
What a joy to see the Migration Map up! It won't be long for you, mimidi, but Penny and I still have a while to go. I looked back at the maps and the earliest arrival date I saw was 2/17 in Mississippi in 1999, followed by 2/18 arrival in Florida in 1998, and a 2/19 arrival in Louisiana in 2005. Mimidi, it looks like they'll be in your garden any day now. From looking over the previous year maps, in most years, they hit our southern shores of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida some time in the latter half of February. However, last year they were unusually late. As far as I can see, in 2006 the first ones didn't arrive until March 2nd in Mississippi and also Texas. I hope we don't have to wait that long this year!
For me, last year, it drove me nuts to watch them hurry up the east coast, travel up the Mississippi valley, but take amazingly long to get to western Pennsylvania. Except for points extremely far north, we seem to be among the last to see hummingbirds. It would seem that the eastern migrators don't cross the Appalachians (we're just west of the Appalachians), and the midwest migrators head north. It takes awhile for them to work their way up the Ohio valley to us. It will be interesting to see if it goes the same way this year. All I know is I practically went nuts last year watching them get to Minnesota before they got here. Then they crept across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and finally into western Pennsylvania.
My earliest arrival date was April 28th and that was 2 or 3 years ago. Usually it is closer to the middle of May. You are so right....it is maddening watching them move further north even up into Quebec before they arrive here. It all depends on the flyway that they use and we are between the major flyways so they more or less have to veer off a bit to one of the secondary flyways to get to us. They probably follow the Miss. flyway until they hit the northeast corner of Indiana/southeast corner of Mich. At that point they go straight over lake Erie into Canada or east to connect with the Atlantic flyway which is slightly north of us so then they move back down to reach us. The connecting route to the Atlantic flyway comes right through the northwest corner of Pa. which is just about 100 miles south of me. Those that migrate by the Atlantic flyway from the coast of Florida have a straight shot all the way up the coast right into Canada.
I just thought of this today, wondering if they had started yet. It is so exciting (and frustrating) to watch the map, and wait for them to show up for the year. I will be keeping my eye on the map driving my poor husband nuts :)
Hang in ther Candy, the time will pass before you know it.
I'm sure you've looked at this before, Penny, but it shows the very effect I was talking about and that you described more fully. Anyone in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, western New York state and some parts of south central Canada are affected by this migration route phenomenon. They seem to travel speedily up the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways, but the birds in the Mississippi flyway have to detour east to get to us. I suspect the Atlantic coast birds just stay to the east and don't cross the mountains, but I wonder if anyone really knows for sure.
If you click on the link, it's easy to see on this map that people to the west and to the east at similar latitudes get their birds maybe a week before we do. I'm not trying to beat this into the ground, it's just that this map really shows what's happening to us long-suffering people just west of the Appalachians.
Click on the link and scroll down to migration question number 3 and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Here is a link that might be useful: When can I expect my first hummingbirds in spring?
Yes Kristin I have a copy of the map already on my computer. I actually use it in conjunction with Lanny's migration map to let my daughter know when to hang her feeder. She is just a hair east of the Miss. flyway on the southern Indiana boundary and she usually has her first hummer by Easter Sunday. Although last year being a strange migration year, I had mine 2 weeks before she did.
Penny what you want to bet there some hummers in Lousiana right now.
There is a report in Monroe wiich is in Northern La. about 45 min. from Shreveport and another in Hammond which is just north of N.O. but neither have been confirmed yet. They were both reported on Journey North.
You are so right as soon as they start moving into the gulf we should start seeintg updates.
Take a look at this map. If you want to see info on each individual sighting, click on the "i" button, then click on one of the dots on the map. This will open up a window that will show you who reported the sighting, and on what date. I don't know if these sightings have been authenticated, but if they are real sightings, ruby-throats are showing up in Louisiana and Florida. Exciting!
Keep your eyes open, mimidi, and let us know when you see your first. Are you in Alabama? What part of the state?
Here is a link that might be useful: 1st reports of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
There are still quite a few winter birds being banded in Ouachita Parish, (Monroe, La) and Baton Rouge Parish, Tangipahoa Parish (Hammond, La.) and all points in between. So unless these birds are captured, examined and banded, it would be pretty difficult to say whether or not they are actually migrants.
Nancy Newfield and the othre banders who band in and around the gulf on a daily basis are still catching winter birds. They haven't reported any new spring migrants yet.
The one in Fl. could also be an overwintering hummer.But they are due to start coming in most any day now.
Penny, how can the banders distinguish a migrant from a bird that has stayed all winter? I can't see how they could. I wondered myself whether these sightings were actual migrants, or just birds that hung around all winter. Or, for that matter, how could we even know for sure that the sightings on the map were even ruby-throats? We'd have to know more about the experience level of the observers to feel certain.
Anyway, still thought people might enjoy looking at the map.
I have no idea when was the first day we had them last year but according to the map around April 4 or 5, not that far off, cant wait.
The banders can usually tell by the condition of the plumage, and the fat deposits that they are carrying and also sometimes I think by the age of the bird which also reflects in the plumage. This is another reason banders will band and mark as many birds as possible over the winter. Some if not all use color marking as well as the band to more quickly identify birds that have already been banded. If a bird is recaptured the bander will contanct the intial bander to see where that bird was orignally banded. You are also right about determining whether or not they are actually ruby-throats or western hummers. Unless the observer is proficient in identification this time of year would be very difficult for an amatuer. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference right now.
But yes you are right it is still exciting to watch reports coming in.
Don't know if this is a migrant for sure but someone reported their 1st. ruby-throat in Wesley Chapel, Fl. today at one of her feeders. She said usually she sees her first one on March 3rd.
I just heard from Lanny Chambers on the above siting. They have 'informants' all along the coast watching in his words like hawks for the first hummer to hit land and so far none have been reported so we may have a few more days to wait.
Hello every one. The little hummingbirds will be here soon. I canÂt wait. Penny I seen some place on this form where some one made feeders from test tubes do you know of this? I would love to make some. Do you know where I can fine the stuff to make them? Thanks Connie
Connie, you can search "test tube feeders" in the hummingbird forum and find several entries. Click on the link below and you'll see pictures of a test tube feeder that was posted to this forum.
I make my own feeders, too, but don't use test tubes. I use mini glass liquor bottles. However, if you want to make a test tube one, you can tell from the pictures how he made the one he made. I think he is using a red rubber stopper that you can obtain at Wild Birds Unlimited. It is sold as a replacement part for a particular feeder. It's basically just a red rubber stopper with a hole bored through the middle. I've definitely seen them at one of our local stores, but can't remember the brand name--Perky Pet? I forget. I know it was a well known feeder maker brand.
Then, all you have to do is find a scientific supply place on the internet, or if you live near a big city, you might be able to find an actual store. Search for things like laboratory glassware, test tubes, etc and you should be able to find them. You need to get the correct sized test tube with an opening that will snugly accomodate the red stopper. Scientific equipment is made to pretty exacting tolerances, so if you buy the stopper and measure it, you should be able to get a test tube the right size. Don't get the test tube first, because then you'll have to find a red stopper that will fit. That will probably be difficult. You could probably find a black one, but red ones just aren't all that common. I've looked. In addition to the test tube and stopper, he obviously used wire and red beads to doll it up and voila--a feeder!
I know you were asking Penny, but I hope this helps!
Here is a link that might be useful: Test Tube feeder
I also used the test tube feeders simmilar to the pics in the link that Kristin posted. I believe that if you have a Wild Birds Unlimited store near you, they carry the test tubes. If not below is an online source
Here is a link that might be useful: test tube feeder
I should have mentioned that mine were used by my juveniles in late summer almost exclusively. Here is one of the first feeders that I made
The link below is the same image in case it doesn't show up in the message.
Thanks every one yall have help me out a lot!! Kristin do you have a photo of youre feeder? Ok when I get one done ill put it on hear.
Connie, I do have pictures of some of my feeders, but they are conventional photos, not digital. If I can get some of them scanned, maybe I can try to post them. It's been a long time since I posted pictures to this forum, so I hope I can remember how to do it.
I look forward to seeing your test tube feeder!