Keep Humming Bird feeders out in December for the Rufous

joeinmo 6b-7aSeptember 20, 2012

Recent migratory changes of the Rufous Hummingbird take a small but growing amount right through southern Missouri. Normally these hummers travel from Mexico to Alaska and can survive colder temperatures. Recently starting in the 1990's increasing numbers are now coming from Alaska through the southern Rockies through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Southern Missouri to finally winter in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina down to Forida and the Turks and Caicos. Normally all the Rufous Hummers get to these wintering areas by late November, but late stragglers have been seen in December. A hummingbird researcher in Highlandville, MO had a Rufous Hummingbird in her backyard from Dec thru Feb.

So please leave your feeders up thru December, plants late blooming, cold tolerant flowers and help these birds get to their SE United States wintering locations.

More below on the changing migratory patterns of the Rufus Hummingbirds

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joeinmo 6b-7a

Would be nice to see a few come through in late October or November so here is what this rare but getting more common hummer looks like.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:17PM
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I'd love to see one someday.
Did you take that photo?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:55AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I would also like to see those. My sister in CA has several kinds visit and she sees a difference in their behavior. I love the attitude of the ruby throated ones. I think they are like those Starwars flying machines zooming at high speed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:47AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Still have 1 fat little female. Warming the sugar water in the mornings for her. She should have a good ten days of good weather to fly south after this weekend chill. I'm betting she leaves this Wednesday. Will be sad to see her go.

Remember keep you feeders out, help the stragglers and maybe even catch the rare Rufous coming from Alaska to the southeast.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I can keep a feeder out, but how do I keep it from freezing? I still have blooming flowers, but I rarely have them last later than the first of November.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:48AM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Sugar water is a little harder to freeze with a 4-1 water to sugar mixture should be good all the way to 21 degrees, a 3-1 mixture should even be better and still be ok for the Hummers. Do NOT fill the glass bottle to the top, leave room for expansion if freezing occurs. Also you can take in overnight and keep warm and put out early in morning before little guys come out.

Here is a link that might be useful: More on sugar water freezing point

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:41PM
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