Hummer Decline...I Have Some Answers!

donnalovesblueJune 25, 2008

I just spoke with Bob Sargent from Trussville, AL...He and his wife head a Hummer Study Group, traveling across the country banding hummers..in fact, he came to my home in 2002 to band a Rufous (not an RT) that had surprisingly made his way to my feeder in late November...so interesting to watch..

According to him, the population has not really declined, but in his opinion, we are currently seeing fewer at our feeders due to a late nesting season...he says that females will try 2 and possibly 3 nestings a season, and there are still females attempting to find mates..

Also, he reminded me that if you see just ONE hummer, you really have FIVE! His advice to me was to get ALL my feeders up ( I usually have 12 up) no matter how few I currently have.

He feels confident we'll see the same good numbers, particularly after the 4th of July, and of course the big influx in late summer.

Well, that's the Readers Digest version of our conversation, and I hope this info is useful to all of you..So get more feeders up asap!!!!

BTW, Bob is sending me info on the Hummer Society Group, which includes a wonderful newsletter..I inadvertently let my membership expire, but I intend to renew it...if anyone is interested in becoming a member, let me know...

Hope this sheds some light on our MIA hummers!

Donna

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claire_de_luna(z5)

Thanks Donna; your post is a good reminder. I have been lax keeping my feeders filled, although I have spotted hummers a couple of times. I'm sure they are nesting right now, as they seem to be a bit elusive this time of year. The good news is that I know they're about! This is the first year I know they're back since we remodeled the kitchen. We used to have them nesting around here over the summer, but not for the past three years. I haven't worried too much as I planted lots of flower food for them this year, but I did also spot them at/around the feeders. (I planted a grouping of fuchsias around my glass feeder near my computer window, which is were I saw one.) I'll be making some fresh food this day, and putting out the feeders. Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 11:07AM
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patsi(z7-S.Jersey)

YEAH !!!

Thanks for the info.

Hope your right.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 4:58PM
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indygardengal

I feel better now....

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:21PM
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ollierose

Well, I'm going to buy more feeders today!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 3:26PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I am not seeing a lot of activity during the days but I am seeing them around 5 a.m. and again between 8 and 9 p.m. I( concur with Bob. The late arrivals have made for later nesting cyles.

BTW, his newsletter is well worth the read.

Penny

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 4:04PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Maybe they're all here. I live in Tennessee and we are seeing more than ever. We are having to fill up our feeders twice a day some days. They are thick this year!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:33PM
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donnalovesblue

Well, I am sooooo jealous!!! I think I have a couple of new ones, but can't be sure....wish more of those little buggers would hurry up, cause I miss 'em!!!

Donna

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:10AM
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dyhgarden(7b)

Thank you for this update. We have 3 individuals that I know of right now. One of my favorite little buddies somehow died this spring. We found him on the ground beside a bush, covered in spider web. Not sure if he was attacked/wounded and fell, or if he had some other problem. The one that is deceased always preened in the top of my willow tree every morning. He also buzzed me a lot when I worked in the garden. When our feeders were empty, he'd come by me and beg and watch me as I refilled them! I miss that little guy. The others haven't gotten as accustomed to me yet, but there is one female who goes about my flowers just a few feet away from me, so I think she's getting pretty comfortable.

Thanks again for this information.

Cameron (in Chapel Hill, NC)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 2:23PM
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bdriver71(z6pa)

echinaceamaniac, ours showed up and then we got nasty cold weather unusual for PA for that time of year. Poof, they were gone. I did tell them if they had any sense they'd head south again. The most I see is 3 at the same time. Happy for what we have, but less than usual. I know 1 female was nesting. Waiting for the babies. Enjoy. Cameron,sorry for the loss your little buddy. I had 2 for 3 years with very distinctive personalities and favorite spots. Neither returned this year. I'm hoping they are down South with echinaceamaniac. I miss them.

Elaine

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:47PM
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