Hummer gardeners please read

penny1947(z6 WNY)October 21, 2006

We always remind people to leave at least one feeder up over the winter if they can maintain it but since I had a female hummer arrived here after our snowstorm on Oct. 16th who won't use or doens't know how to use a feeder, it set me to thinking that a lot of people start cutting their plants back in the fall or pulling them out completely before the frost takes them.

I would like to encourage people to leave those plants alone if they are still blooming because it may provide the necessary nourishment for our late migrators who don't go to the feeders. Many of my plants were flattened by the heavy wet snow and I was very close to going out and ripping many out to tidy things up after the storm. Since the ground was so saturated my intentions were thankfully thwarted and because of it my plants including many of the flattened ones are providing the necessary food for my little late migrant. So if at all possible leave those plants that still could bloom for as long as possible. Right now I know of 3 others in the Great Lakes region beside myself who are still hosting migrant Rubythroats. These hummers will still need food sources as they head south. Please also encourage your friends, family and neighbors to leave their plants intact for our migrating birds.

Penny

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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

What a great excuse not to cut things back!
Wow. This little bird must be really happy there to be hanging around so long!
I'm from the Lansing area, and know if she doesn't get moving soon, it could be bad for her.

How do you encourage her to move south?

Christine

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 8:01PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Christine there is no way to encourage them to migrate south. They migrate by instinct as the days begin to get shorter they instinctively know it is time to head south. Howerver sometimes there are hummers who have a second or third nest and this results in late hatchlings. The juveniles have to put on a lot of weight before they are ready to head out and this result is late migrants. Some come all the way from northern Ontario or Quebec and this just makes the migration that much longer as they have to continue to put on fat along the way especially if they are running low on fuel. They only fly about 30 mph. It would take one probably about 2 weeks to reach the gulf from the Great Lakes area. So you can see they need all the resources they can find along the way especially this late in the season. Many late migrant juveniles never use a feeder as they don't have models to learn from since all or most of the older hummers have already headed south.

Penny

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 6:21AM
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