Where did they all come from?

hummersteveJuly 22, 2009

Had quite an influx of hummers today in my front yard usually have all this in back. Took this before I swapped out my feeders. Enjoy , a good one.

Here is a link that might be useful: feeding frenzy

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My yard was filthy thick with hummers today so thought I would add this one too. Not bad for someone who doesnt live near the woods. Enjoy. not even august yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: feeding frenzy 2

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 7:21PM
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Well Steve--I just guess most of my Delaware Hummers have come west to you!!!!!
Both videos were great---I still do not know why your Rubythroats share so well--it never happens here!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 7:44PM
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cinci1994(N.Ont Z3)

Steve I am so jealous. I only have one little guy here and I haven't even seen him lately.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 7:46PM
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Steve, Your videos are amazing. I can only imagine what August must be like at your place!

I keep looking in the background of your videos for that 'special plant' or some clue to the huge numbers at your feeders! I wish I knew the secret!

And I wonder too that your birds are predisposed to sharing. Ours won't abide by that idea at all.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments, but its not always share and share alike here. In fact most of the afternoon they were playing musical chairs so much I wondered if they would ever eat. But as we all know hummers have to eat , maybe they just give up after so much chasing each other.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 9:12PM
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You told me not to rush the season and enjoy what I have...well, I'm still jealous! Great videos!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 9:15PM
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The truth is there is no special plant. I have small flower garden in front of my pc window and a few plants spread around but only about half of those are in bloom but in the next couple of weeks those should be in bloom. I have a thumbprint yard so I just have to make the best use of it I can. I only plant things that I feel will attract hummers. I have some of the same plants everyone else does but not many of those. Someone once said I live in a hummer hotspot according to a certain map and that I do everything right whatever that means.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 11:17PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

So just what is August about? Does it consist of the normal hummers feeding heavily to get the energy to do the long migration? If not do the regular ones leave before the new ones arrive? The ones that come to your feeder in August, do they hang around for a while or just stop for a quick meal and go on till they find the next one? How long does this extra activity usually last?

Also, since I see all this talk about August, and nothing about a month in the spring, what makes the southerly migration more exciting the the northerly?

I guess you can see there are too many questions to answer, but I guess you get my confusion. LOL


    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 7:09AM
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I will try to answer at least some of your questions. First of all if you remember the vids I put up maybe a couple of weeks ago where all you saw at the feeders were adult males, well they dominated the front and back yards here and those guys are gone and that is all part of the migration

Now let me back up, in the early spring the males are the first to arrive and the reason for migrating north is for breeding purposes only as it is too crowded and too much competion in mexico and central america where they winter. So when the males find an area or yard they like they will protect that against all other comers and will procede to mate with every female they can as the females begin to arrive shortly after the males. Then the nesting takes place and you wont see the females a lot during that period , nesting or incubation usually lasts between 15 and 22 days then if you are lucky you will start to see young ones and so on thru the summer. Now we fast forward a bit as the days begin to get shorter signals the migration south again and the males are first to leave as they have already started as I having a good quantity of males have witnessed.

OK what is it about august? It is the extreme peak month of migration, let me explain it this way, consider a snowball beginning to roll down hill it starts off slowly gaining momentem as it goes till,,, while this migration is underway though they have to bulk up for the trip and you will see many big bellies at the feeders. At my place there will be so many hummers it will be almost a continuous frenzy at the feeders and plants. During these feeding periods these hummers may stay at one place 2 or 3 days at a place that offers a lot and they will bulk up and rest some then move on. Some people think they are seeing the same two or three birds at their place but most likely they are seeing different birds as they pass thru.

Ken-- I would suspect that even though you have very little action up till now be aware in august especially the first couple of weeks after that the amount of hummers seems to gradually diminsh as the big push has moved thru, but there will still be a good amount, as the end of august approaches there will a noticable disappearence of hummers, its near the end. I dont know what you can expect , if you only see a couple now and then you might see half a dozen at once or more Im not sure. That is why I and others have urged you to keep up the good work you are doing. AUGUST!!!! I can make no guarantees how many you might see, but you should see more. I hope I have answered some of your questions.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 1:16PM
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A couple of things I forgot. Long about the middle of august or maybe sooner even I will not see another adult male. The females will be next to leave and finally the young ones will exit. In sept I see very few hummers if any maybe just the first week and then nothing as if that snowball has reached the bottom of the hill and then comes time for reflecting on a good hummer season. I for one am not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears at the end and even before. As it will be 7 long months before I see them again in my area.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 1:29PM
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desertsage(7b USDA Sunset 10)

Remember too that this years offspring can double the Spring count.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 4:31PM
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Thanks for the careful explanation, Steve. Any idea what factors make your region a 'hot spot' for hummers?

And I'm wondering...How do you think the hummers coming south during migration find gardens with feeders? Do you think they remember from last year, or follow other hummers who know feeder locations, or do they follow an air 'draft' through the region (say along a river bed or valley~~a reverse migration path) and just happen to see feeders and stop?

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 5:26PM
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I have a couple of thoughts, there is good habitat near me within 1/2 mi radius, farmland, brush, trees, hills. Hummers are loners, but I think they follow the same general migration route with some variation. Also I believe they have a sense of where their breeding grounds were the year before. Yes, as was mentioned by desertsage the offspring will add to next years total. So if a person is lucky enough to have hummers breed in their area, the total will get bigger each year. Even though the average hummer life is in the 3-5yr span.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 5:47PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Yes... thanks for the explaination Steve! Hopefully the migrating birds will find my oasis! :c)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 6:53PM
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Heres another short vid of a hummer on my agastache cana. For those interested ther is another vid of the countryside in front of my home and surrounding right beside this vid.

Here is a link that might be useful: hummer on plant- countryside

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 9:07PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

Awesome vids.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 2:03PM
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