One hummingbird left behind...

ikenmikeOctober 5, 2012

I'm new here so I'd like to say hi and ask for a wee bit of help. Here's a bit of background. I live in northwest Arkansas where it happens to be unusually chilly and rainy today and for the next few days. We have two hummer feeders semi-strategically placed in our backyard for both viewing and cutting down on turf squabbles. I'm reasonably sure all of our hummers have already left with the exception of one poor straggler. I think it's a female and not a juvenile male.

My question (finally!) is whether or not there's anything I could or should do to help the poor solitary girl until she decides to or is able to migrate. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she's able. I've been changing the food every few days and washing/rinsing each feeder. It seems lately lots of bugs end up in the nectar. I do make the nectar 4/1 myself.

Thanks for any help you can be!


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Sounds like you are doing all the right things...usually females leave later than the males. I still have (mostly juvenile males) passing through every day. Last year in my Ohio yard my last hummer was seen on Oct. 17th. Don't worry about leaving your feeders up too long an keeping hummers from leaving...they will migrate when they are ready. Just find comfort in the fact your feeders will nourish those passing through on their migratory flight.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:50PM
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jomuir(z5 detroit)

Oct 17? Wow, you just validated my decision to leave my nectar up until Nov. 1st. Now it's time to dream of next year's gardening to increase hummer traffic (and drool over pics from my southern/western neighbors who have them heading their way).

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:11AM
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You could try attracting some geese. That poor hummingbird may be having a hard time choosing a goose, and a greater selection may be just what it needs.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Thanks for the replies, folks, it's good to know I was doing the right things. The day after I posted my poor little straggler was not looking well at all. She sat on the perch of our window feeder for almost 1� hours and didn't fly away until almost 7:00pm. That's something I've never seen. That was also the last time I saw her. I can hope that she was just trying to store up as much energy as possible for her long solo journey, but I kind of doubt it. Sigh.

I'm still refilling my feeders thought just in case there are still hummers passing through.

I've checked out this forum a bit better since my first post and I clearly need more feeders! You guys rock!

Thanks again for the help. BTW, I really thought the hummingbirds riding on the backs of geese was just a myth. Not true?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Oh, it's a myth. A highly amusing myth. My point was that attracting geese would be about as effective at helping your straggler as anything else you might do. My own straggler is very interesting. She spends much more time on the shrimp plant than on the feeder I still have out. When I see her, I say to her, "Go on, choose your goose and be on your way!" :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 4:44PM
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I still have a few females, 4 or 5, visting my feeder. During the migration I usually have 9 feeders going.

I'll be leaving a feeder out year round now. Last fall I had lots of stragglers. Through October into November. On November 27 I saw two hummingbirds fighting over the feeder I had left out. Both hummingbirds were here for two days. On the third day there was only one hummer visiting the feeder. She stayed until January 16. :) It turned out she was a little Rufous female. During her stay we had one night of 24 degrees and one night of 25 degrees. Luckly the sugar water didn't freeze and the hummer didn't mind the cold.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:08PM
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zoozue(9 Lakeland)

Well us southern yards we can see arrivals as late as December and January so these little girls must be up your way just waiting for a storm system to come along and move them out. Don't give up hope at all. You could see hummers for at least the rest of the month.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:03AM
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