Hummer in Wisconsin

hummerzrgr8(4)November 9, 2013

I am new to this board and I live in Sparta Wisconsin and developed an amazing friendship with a little female ruby-throat hummingbird this summer. I named her Costa Rica and I made her a swing that she claimed as her own. She would come to me when I called her name or copied her calls. She would search for me as I was out in the yard and come up to my face as if to say what-cha-doing?
She started to defend both her feeder and myself alike. I thought it was a blessing but now I'm afraid I have done her wrong. It is now November and I thought she had migrated in early October but on November 6th a saw her on her swing by a feeder I still had out. I was going by the advice to keep feeders out for migratory hummers passing thru but now I am afraid by doing so my little Costa Rica will not migrate and that she will never survive our brutal Wisconsin winters. What can I do for her? PLEASE HELP

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mehitabel(z6 MO)

The books say they will migrate when ready, and that having a feeder out will not keep them from migrating. Not just one book, but several that I read last summer.

They have to put on a lot of fat before they can meet the energy demands and possible lack of food in migration. My own guess is that the ones that migrate late are a second breeding and smaller and lower in the pecking order, so they aren't as fat and need to stay longer to fatten up so they can leave.

You can help your little friend by increasing the concentration of the solution from 4: 1 to 2:1 sugar to water, or even 1:1

This helps them get fat faster so they can leave sooner. This is especially true this late in the season when a lot of plant food has died in frost.

Good luck! And good luck to her, too!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Every piece of material I've red said the same thing as Mehitabel- they'll leave on their own when they've put on enough weight for the long trip ahead. Hopefully, she'll come right back to you next season. Is she still around?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 9:38AM
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