If you are missing your ruby-throats, they are arriving here in Jupiter, South Florida for the winter. I saw my first one this afternoon. He was enjoying our red fire spike.
My males left almost 2 weeks ago here in PA. Still have 2 babies. Hopefully my boys and mom are with you and weren't trying to cross the gulf during the hurricane. Enjoy, and thanks for taking care of our babies.
I think one of your boys is definitely here so please send the babies also. I have plenty of plants in bloom for them and have now put out a feeder - I just have to keep the squirrels away from it though. I too hope none were trying to cross the Gulf and hopefully they will be safe in Florida this winter.
This is an amazing concept ---I love it!
Can someone please explain to me, a newcomer to hummers, why the males migrate first? I got my first hummers mid August, and have only seen one male so far (about 2 weeks ago.)
Hi Ann, I've read that the males head out first to scout the best feeding / breeding (depending which direction they are heading) areas. "Bob", one of our regulars, always shows up first and heads South first as well. He's been around for a few years, so I figure he has his favorite stops scoped out along the route in both directions. Mine are going crazy at the feeders right now and are fattening up to head in your direction. All of you down south, take care of "my" birds for me when they get there. I'm missing them already!
Yup. I'm in Georgia and noticed many are missing.
*sigh* I miss my sweethearts already!
The males head out first because they're done first. They do not help with the young at all. Their sole job in the summer is to fertilize eggs and chase off all who aren't in that picture. Once the females are on the nest with eggs, the males begin fattening up for migration.
The females are left to incubate the eggs and then raise them to fledge on their own. With all of the time and effort going into creating the eggs and protecting them until the young fledge, they don't have to time to build their own reserves up for migration.
Often times, a female will raise more then one brood of eggs. The young from the first brood will be ready to migrate when the adult males begin migration and the final brood should be ready to migrate by the time the females migrate. The females are likely to be at a deficit in body fat by the time they've created eggs and then cared for the young, so it will take a while to build enough fat to begin migration. They will nearly double their weight before departing. Banding data shows that they will go from between 2.5 and 3 grams to almost 6 grams. This also accounts for why sometimes there is quite a difference in size of two birds of the same species.
Hope this answers your question.
The hummer activity in my yard has picked up over the past couple of weeks. The banded female Rufous arrived for her 6th year on August 15th. I'm seeing at least 3 adult males and one young male Ruby-throat who appear to be claiming territories for the winter. We're going to attempt to trap the Rufous on Saturday to verify the number on her band.
Click on the link below to visit my webpage. Follow the links to view a blog on the activity in my yard, and various photos of my yard and past balcony, birds, and a hummingbird banding session.
Steve in Valrico, FL
Here is a link that might be useful: Blog of Hummingbird Activity in my Yard
Yes! We have them here in Gulf Coast too!
Thanks for answers ! Mary