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Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 4, 12 at 13:31

I know it's way early, but I was late last year and the hummers are already in Florida.

These maps should automatically update so anyone who is interested can watch the progress (and get the feeder out of the cellar and find the nectar recipe when the sightings are getting close to you).

The maps are linked to, and produced by, the hummingbirds.net website where there's lots of useful and interesting information about the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thanks so much! I 'missed' last year, too. I put the link on my desktop and this year I'll be waiting for them!

Molie


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thanks Claire, I know spring is allmost here when you post this!!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Oh goodie! Now I know spring is not far off. The permanent residents don't arrive until May, but I love to watch their progress on the map. Thank you, Claire!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Ditto to all the above thank yous. This post is SO necessary!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 7, 12 at 11:47

They're still huddled around the Gulf of Mexico and Florida, anxiously checking the weather forecasts (while lolling in the balmy air). A few have ventured into the deep south of Georgia so they're testing the waters or air or whatever.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Oh Yay! And I even know where our hummingbird feeder is!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Well, they've made it up to Cracker Barrel and Pecan World. 2 months to go.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 14, 12 at 10:04

Inching their way up the coast near the Carolinas... time to start looking at prevailing winds to waft them north (or keep them in place waiting for the tailwind).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 16, 12 at 11:40

Solidly into North Carolina! The winds don't look favorable for much more flight north today, though, but they may surprise us.

It always confuses me that North Carolina is the mirror image of Virginia (geography is not my strong suit). Somehow my rational self thinks that North and South Carolina, and Virginia and West Virginia, should look alike.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'm ready for them whenever they make it to my yard -- love having this map!!

Does anyone know: do they know that it's a warmer than usual winter-into-spring and that they should hit the road earlier than usual? (Ditto for monarchs?) Are they guided by the length of the days (in which case, the temperatures shouldn't matter, just the amount of daylight) or do they go by air temps? (I should know this, but don't...)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 16, 12 at 12:40

ctlady: One fascinating bit of information is the relationship of hummingbirds to sapsuckers during migration.

A Partnership That Works
Sapsuckers and Hummingbirds

It starts with trees when the sap starts running. The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers start migrating north, feeding on the sap by drilling little holes in the bark. Sap is apparently very similar to flower nectar, so other birds such as hummingbirds will follow the sapsuckers and feed from the same holes.

Now how the trees know when to start the sap running is another question.... I don't know anything about monarchs either. Some of the butterfly raisers probably know.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Wow ... is that northern CT sighting on 3/19 correct??! I was going to wait until they showed up in New Jersey before hanging the feeders out, but maybe I'd better get them up, just in case?! Sure hope they're following the sapsuckers (neat bit of info! I may have to forgive the sapsuckers, who made it onto my personal black list after they took did in our beautiful river birch a few years back)... there's sure not much else in bloom just yet!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Umm..I'm a little suspicious. They skipped Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York? Claire, have you noticed this type of aberration in the past? I remember seeing a pretty clear-cut geographic progression. Could be true, but just wondering.

Jane


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 20, 12 at 12:30

That's two sightings in CT, March 14 and 19. Maybe a headstrong youngster who sprinted up and then was so exhausted he had to walk from the 14th to the 19th?

I'm skeptical too - most of the coastal sightings are near the lower Chesapeake Bay, which is reasonable. The midwestern birds seem to be heading up the Mississippi and other rivers, maybe the Connecticut River is a thoroughfare?

Or maybe the report is wrong. Dunno, but I'm glad none of those sightings are near me - I'd rather not put up feeders a month early.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 20, 12 at 18:37

Pennsylvania today, too. I'm getting nervous, even though my gut says another month (but what does my gut know, except that it's dinner time...)

I broke down and brought one feeder up from the cellar and put it near the kitchen. I have a 50% sugar solution in the refrigerator, that will keep for a few months easy, and I can use it to mix up the nectar solution in a few minutes.

I figure I can race out with the hummingbird feeder and replace the suet feeder in five minutes if I see a hummer. And then there's the oriole feeder since they arrive within a day or two of the hummers...

Claire (practicing the feeder relay maneuver)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'm watching the map too and pretty surprising they are almost here this early. I thought I had another 10 days to go at least, because I thought someone said to have the feeder out and ready by Apr 1st?

Anyway, I'm getting mine cleaned and ready to go tomorrow.

Claire can you explain what you mean by having a 50% sugar solution in the refrigerator that lasts a few months? I thought if you made up a sugar solution it only lasts a few days, no? And what did you mean by mixing up a nectar solution? Do you add something else besides the sugar water?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

This is a great thread, Claire!

I'm wondering what everyone's favorite type of hummingbird feeder is. I've gone through a few that I didn't like....they cracked, or were spilly. I'd like to get one that lasts!

Thanks,
Teresa


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 21, 12 at 11:35

Another one in CT on March 20. Either there's some wingnut there (pun intended), or the birds are really really early. I may put up one feeder today, which will annoy the suet lovers whose feeder will have to be moved.

PM2: For years I've kept a 'simple syrup' solution in the refrigerator in summer to make fast lemonade when I come in. None of that lovely fresh-squeezed lemonade, just lemon juice, 'simple syrup' and water. I didn't invent it, I pulled it out of a recipe somewhere. One cup sugar plus one cup water, microwaved to dissolve, then stirred and kept in the refrigerator. It's much too concentrated for your everyday household microorganisms to grow in so it keeps a long time.

Anyway, I had the syrup on hand so I decided to try mixing hummingbird nectar with it. It's very easy and I just mix up one feeder's quota at a time. Recently I read an article that also recommends this (maybe by Julie Zickefoose, I don't have it bookmarked).

For my 10 ounce capacity Droll Yankee feeder:
1/3 cup 'simple syrup' (50%) plus
1 cup water
It's a little over 10 ounces but it fits in. I mix it in a two cup measure, but a bowl would work too, just so long as it's mixed before it goes into the feeder.

This way I only mix up what I need for that day, but still have the stock simple syrup in the refrigerator.

Teresa:

I like the saucer shaped feeders with perches for the hummingbirds to rest. Droll Yankees, Hummzinger, etc. Lots of different makers, this is mine, photo from last year:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

One thing to remember is that the feeder doesn't need to be filled to the brim (which slops over when you carry it). They're not designed to be filled to the tiptop and the birds can reach way down with their very long tongues. Some people go crazy trying to seal the feeders - not necessary. I have two feeders, one labeled 10 oz capacity and the other 12 oz. Neither overflows when filled to the stated capacity. There's still a little space left at the top.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

On the hummingbirds.net home site, I went back to each of the past 12 years and sure enough, each year there were sightings in CT before some of the lower states - but this is nearly a month earlier than it was 10 years ago. Just came back from the dump (one of my favorite places when not in Paris)and the forsythia, eastern redbud trees and early azaleas - everything is nearly in full bloom. Let no hummingbird go hungry, I'm putting it up today!

Jane


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 21, 12 at 16:03

You've got azaleas??? That's one of my indicator species, along with rhododendrons. My latest working hypothesis is that the hummers take the sapsucker express north, and then the ones who like the scenic coastal route (we don't get many sapsuckers here) follow the azaleas and rhododendrons as they go into bloom.

No azalea/rhodie bloom yet, no forsythia either. Still on snowdrops, crocus and hellebores.

But my feeder is up just in case. The thought of a hummingbird racing north and then dying of starvation with its little wings wrapped around the shepherd's hook that doesn't hold a nectar feeder.... (shudder)

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

i just joined the forum. .. live in greenfield , ma... put out 3 hummingbird feeders yesturday ..... and waiting.........


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 22, 12 at 9:56

Welcome, rrahbit, this is a friendly forum with a lot of nice people with varied interests. We get a bit obsessive about all the signs of spring (where are those hummingbirds, already? The peepers are starting up, so where are the hummingbirds?)

In Greenfield, you may just be on the express route taken by those hummers seen in CT. Three hummingbird feeders... you're hooked.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I also just joined this forum..... Live in Athol,Ma. I have been following this forum for years, and decided I should join.
I love these little guys!! They are amazing to watch.They are very trustworthy with me, they hover over me and wait for their nectar to be changed.
I could of sworn I heard them on this pass Sunday and Monday. I know this is way early, but did not want to miss them just in case they are early this year.So I put up 2 feeders last night and I am waiting......
My little guys usally do not show up till the 1st or 2nd week of April.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Welcome dawngirl and rrahbit, nice to see new faces. :-)

Claire thank you for the instructions for the simple syrup. I made some up yesterday and plan on putting the feeder out today. Although, I am in Metro Boston, so I wonder if I might just as well wait until those of you who are in CT at least have sightings there?

We do not have azalea blooms here yet either.

I have yet to have hummingbirds in my garden. I put out a feeder last year, but I got it out there a little late. The year before I saw one hummingbird, quickly flit through the garden and then never was seen again, so I have hope that one will find us again and I want to be ready for them.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

holy guacamole. I just looked at this thread for the first time in 2 weeks. about to run to the basement and grab the feeder. . . i have hummingbird food left over from last year. i'll use that for now. I had been planning on going to buy new, but now that I see Claires "recipe" for light syrup, that is easier than a trip to the store!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

This is a great thread!! I put my feeder out a few days ago. I am in North Easton, MA. I had a feeling with this warm weather they may be back early. Especially with the SW winds we are having. No signs yet....I am still looking for them.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 22, 12 at 16:10

Welcome dawngirl.athol and Crocker1, too. Both newly registered and also from MA (a plug for my home state).

There's a report of a sighting on March 18 in SE MA, looks like in the interior! I just stared at my feeder again (it's just outside the computer window). Lots of other birds flitting around, but no hummers yet.

If this is like other years, they'll be in Canada before they get here on the coast. There's a few sightings skirting the Great Lakes on the south. It always infuriates me when they get to Canada before Plymouth, MA.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Theresa -

This probably doesn't really answer your question, but my favorite hummingbird feeders are 'Black and Blue' Salvia, scarlet runner beans and Heuchera (coral bells.) I have bears in the area and so don't put out seed or hummingbird feeders since I'd just as soon NOT train the bears that there is food at my house! By planting a combination of annuals, half-hardy perennials, and hardy perennials, I have hummingbirds that come to the house all summer until hard frost.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

From my Russells Garden Center Newsletter:

HUMMINGBIRDS HAVE ARRIVED EARLY!

Sightings of hummingbirds are occurring 1 month earlier than usual. Now is the time to put out a hummingbird feeder to establish your yard as their regular feeding territory. You'll also be helping them to survive until more nectar is plentiful from their favorite flowers.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 24, 12 at 10:12

bears? bears? I don't want to think about bears eating from my feeders.... or sitting in my birdbath.

The hummers are in Canada now (IT'S MARCH AND THEY REACHED CANADA!!!), so how come they can't find Plymouth, MA?

Ah, well, as soon as the relocated suet feeder is empty I'll replace it with the new oriole feeder, which has suet cages as well as a jelly dish. No jelly until I actually see an oriole (they like suet too).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'm in W. Wareham, and we never get them at our house before the first week in May. Every single year, if I don't have the feeder out yet, one comes and hovers in front of our sliding door to let us know it is time!

Claire, I've got brunnera Jack Frost blooming as well as hellebores and forget me nots.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thank you, Claire; maybe I'll try a feeder like you have. :)

nhbabs---thanks for your hummingbird flower list! We have a lot flowers in the yard that attract them, but we also like to hang a feeder on the deck to see them close-up. No worries about bears here, thank goodness! I've never grown the black and blue salvia, or scarlet runner bean, but now they are on my list. The biggest hummingbird draw in my yard last summer was the Cut and Come Again zinnias.

Teresa


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 27, 12 at 16:49

A hummer made it to Nova Scotia, maybe near Halifax?, without stopping in Maine (or it was in stealth mode in Maine so no one saw it). With the sudden change to cold temperatures with freezes at night, I bet the birds are reconsidering their rash early race north.

I'm back in geography mode, trying to figure out where on the maps the birds have landed.

capecodder; I love those stories about the hummers coming to remind people to put that feeder out. I'm usually way, way, ahead of them, tapping my feet and worrying. Last week in April or first week in May is usual here, with a male showing up first (and sometimes moving on after filling up).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

claire - slightly off topic - but I bought an oriole feeder today. when should I put it out? I have my hummingbird feeder out, but haven't noticed any activity at it yet. Should I put the oriole feeder out now? Or wait?

I bought one of the ones that you put the sugar syrup in, then it has 4 little places to put jam, and it has a spike on the top to put a half-orange.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thanks, Claire, for the recipe. We have to get going on some feeder installations. It turns out that a nearby Agway has many Droll Yankee hummingbird feeders.

I'd appreciate suggestions about where best to place these. Our backyard and deck face west and get quite a bit of afternoon sun. Should the feeders be in the shade? far from other types of bird feeders?

Our azaleas are blooming and the rhododendrons are about to open. My daffodils are blooming, but I'm guessing that feeders need to be put out now to keep them here until everything is open???


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 1, 12 at 16:01

That's a tough call, pixie_lou. Here the orioles usually arrive within a day or so of the first male hummers and will go for the hummingbird feeders and/or the suet if there's nothing else for them.

I did put my oriole feeder up but it has suet cages (which can be filled with orange slices) so right now it's just another suet feeder (just bright orange). When they do arrive, all tired from the flight, they need food of some sort or they'll have to move on. If you have suet up anyway, they should stay for a while, long enough for you to hustle out their fruit.

The forsythia are struggling to bloom here so I don't really expect much activity soon, although this is such a weird spring...

Molie: I'd be nervous if I had azaleas and rhododendrons blooming, and I'd get a feeder up. The hummingbirds.net site has a very good section on Hummingbird Feeders. Scroll down to "Location, Location, Location".

I have one feeder in almost full sun, visible from my computer and kitchen windows. The other is on my deck and only gets morning sun. Both are used well. I probably have to refill the one in sun a little more often, but not excessively. Neither feeder is very close to other feeders, although big birds can't resist occasionally landing on the shepherd's hook and shaking the structure. Very little birds avoid big birds.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

thanks for the input claire.

i do have a suet feeder up. i buy suet from a local butcher and just hang it in an onion bag - i don't render it or add seed or anything. it attracts tons of woodpeckers, and the squirrels leave it alone.

i think i'll hang the oriole feeder, but just put the sugar water in it. and maybe some grape jelly. that is once i go to the store and buy some grape jelly. (i make all my own jams and jellies and i refuse to serve it to birds!)

as for the sugar water - the hummingbird people say to use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water; the oriole people say to use 1 part sugar to 6 parts water. Do you think it makes a difference? or could i just use the same in both feeders? (and to make matters more complicated - we also recently bought a butterfly feeder - and they suggest 1 part sugar to 10 parts water - i have visions of my refrigerator being full of bird and butterfly nectar this summer!)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 2, 12 at 10:49

pixie_lou: I don't know the answer to that - I guess the recommendations are based on the relative concentrations of sugar in flower nectar (for hummingbirds) and fruits (for orioles). Birds are certainly adaptable, but what's harmful to them is a different issue. Try something and let us know how it works out (my cop-out).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 16:57

Well, no Easter Hummer today (or Easter Oriole). Sigh.

But peering at the green dots on the map, which are sightings in April, there looks like a second wave of hummingbirds heading north. Maybe these are OUR birds, the sensible New Englanders who didn't get caught up in the mad dash north during the False Spring (which fizzled).

Alright, I could be over-interpreting the data but I think there's new hope there.

Some rhodies are starting to bloom in the supermarket parking lot ...

Claire (ever hopeful and keeping the nectar fresh)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Still no signs of hummingbirds yet. I was in the Wild Birds store today buying other food and on the white board the owner has a listing for "3/8 - hummingbird sighting- Easton" (MA). Still no signs in my yard though. Azaleas started to pop.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

My azaleas have been open for a while and are even starting to drop their flowers, the Rhodies are getting ready to pop, the red Coral Bells are open, one Clematis should blossom next week, but no signs of hummingbirds yet in my yard!

I live along the CT shore ---- could they have flown right by on their way to all you lucky folks up in Massachusetts?

(Sad Molie here)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

First Post, first time user, first year for trying to feed Hummingbirds.

Just put out a feeder. Have been watching this board to see if anyone actually was feeding any hummingbirds yet. It sounds as if they have been spotted here and there but no one in this post has mentioned that they are feeding any yet?

Montague, MA

I figured they might be close now so might was well get started. I have thistle and suet on the deck am feeding a bunch of wood peckers on the suet and all sorts of tiny birds with the thistle seed. Regular seed in the yard and the bird bath attract a number of larger birds.

But looking forward to feeding and photographing some hummingbirds.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 18, 12 at 12:50

Molie: If they flew by CT to MA then they're hiding somewhere - none here yet. I refilled the nectar feeder again this morning, and put out a little bit of jelly for the orioles/catbirds if they should be inclined to show up too.

All the signs look good here and I was sure they'd show up last weekend when it got really hot. Shows how much I know. It's still a week or two before the usual arrival time, but it really feels like the right time. I feel like I should close my eyes and say "I believe, I believe" and they'll show up. But with my luck I'd probably get Tinkerbelle at the feeder.

Welcome, StephenStephen! The sightings to date have been as reported on hummingbird.net, but nobody on this forum has seen any. At least they haven't said so, and most people here will rejoice and post when the happy day comes. First hummingbird sightings are an event to share.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Haven't seen a one here in north-central CT, either ... and the feeders have been out for several weeks. I was really expecting them during that hot spell, too! I keep changing the syrup every few days just in case, but no hummers yet. I know I've had them in previous years when the bleeding hearts were in bloom (as they are now) so I'm hoping they'll show up soon ...


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

My neighbor spotted one on Monday! I wasn't sure to believe it till I checked the map and saw it was possible. Yea!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 19, 12 at 11:54

ctlady: Bleeding hearts blooming as an indicator? hmmmm - I have two bleeding hearts in bud, not in bloom yet. Something else to monitor.

I wish the hummers would just post their itinerary rather than making us guess.

cloud_9: A neighbor's sighting is good news, but not as good as seeing one yourself. Maybe your neighbor will share the hummingbird with you?

Claire


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RE: Prevailing winds map

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 19, 12 at 12:01

I see my link to the coastal prevailing winds map has been removed. I guess the Weather Channel doesn't want to share anymore, at least not without a subscription.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I live ct and its april 22 and have not seen any hummingbirds yet. Were are the hummmingbird?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Hi Claire, Hi Marty - If you haven't seen them yet, I know I won't have either. I'm later than you -- 30 miles north. But hope springs eternal, so I just put the feeders out. There really isn't anything else for them to eat, so I do think it's too early even tho everything is a few weeks early this year. We'll keep watching though.
lucia


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 11:00

Last year my first hummer, a male, arrived on April 22, 2011, the earliest I've ever seen. The first female showed up on April 30. So, there's a precedent, birds!

I wonder if they'll ride the winds on this storm that's coming north or whether they'll just be sensible and hunker down until it's over.

There are rhododendrons and azaleas blooming in the neighborhood, although not the rhododendron mountains up the street yet. My bleeding hearts are blooming too.

It really is time.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I have my hummingbird feeder up but have not yet seen a hummingbird in ct yet. Can anyone help me out here i am new at feeding them? I would like know how much suger and water to use?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Hummingbird1234 - I don't know about others, but I use 1/4 cup sugar to a cup of water, and because I have 3 feeders (each 8 oz.) I make 3 cups at a shot (so 3/4 cup of sugar into 3 cups of water). I microwave the water until it's hot enough (just neater than putting a pot on the stove), then stir in the sugar until it dissolves completely. Then I let it cool before filling the feeders and setting them out.

We've had them actually feed on the bleeding hearts (which are right under some big windows, so we can watch them easily) which is why I know that at least in some years, the bleeding hearts have heralded the hummers' arrival. We're in lower Litchfield County, and definitely have azaleas in bloom (some varieties, at least) along with many of the blooming trees like the crabapples. Not too many perennials in bloom yet, but a few... I think an industrious hummer could find flowers but after such a long trip, it must be nice to roll into town and find the "welcome feeder" out!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 11:50

hummingbird1234:

ctlady's recipe and method is fine. She makes up what she needs for one time and avoids storing leftover nectar solution in the refrigerator.

--------------------------------------------------------

The hummingbird.net site has a good discussion on hummingbird feeders

They say:
"Here's the recipe for artificial nectar (syrup):

Use one part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water.

It's not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don't come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills.

Store unused syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks."

They also say:
"... do not put honey, Jell-O, brown sugar, fruit, or red food coloring in your feeder!

--------------------------------------------------------

I use another method myself which suits my routine (the resulting solution is the same as above, only the method is changed).

For years I've kept a 'simple syrup' solution in the refrigerator in summer to make fast lemonade when I come in. None of that lovely fresh-squeezed lemonade, just lemon juice, 'simple syrup' and water. I didn't invent it, I pulled it out of a recipe somewhere. One cup sugar plus one cup water, microwaved to dissolve, then stirred and kept in the refrigerator. It's much too concentrated for your everyday household microorganisms to grow in so it keeps a long time.

Anyway, I had the syrup on hand so I decided to try mixing hummingbird nectar with it. It's very easy and I just mix up one feeder's quota at a time. Recently I read an article that also recommends this (maybe by Julie Zickefoose, I don't have it bookmarked).

For my 10 ounce capacity Droll Yankee feeder:
1/3 cup 'simple syrup' (50%) plus
1 cup water
It's a little over 10 ounces but it fits in. I mix it in a two cup measure, but a bowl would work too, just so long as it's mixed before it goes into the feeder.

This way I only mix up what I need for that day, but still have the stock simple syrup in the refrigerator.

--------------------------------------------------------

Choose what's easiest for you to do. The hummingbirds don't care what method you use, they just want a nice clean nectar solution in the feeder.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I have not seen any hummingbirds yet and i had my feeder up since april 15. Were are the hummingbirds? I see others in ct are seeing them but i am not. I am mixing the solution right but why am i not seening them?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Hummingbird1234 - If you read this thread, you would see that none of us have actually seen a hummingbird yet, but most of us have had our feeders up for almost a month now.

The hummingbirds seemed to have started their migration early this year. So I don't think anyone can predict when or where the hummers will arrive. I have read that they are creatures of habit - and tend to visit the same feeding sites year after year. Personally I only saw a few hummers last year. But I'm creating a nectar garden for them, so I'm hoping more and more hummers will visit my yard as the years go by.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 26, 12 at 10:56

There! There! There! The first hummingbird in my yard this year, a male. He looks really perky as if he's been well fed. I'll put the second feeder out in a few minutes as well as new jelly for the orioles if they're on their way.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Yay for Claire!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Only right in that you started the thread, lol! Glad for you!
Jane


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 28, 12 at 10:55

Well, that was a short visit (nice to see you, gotta rush, bye). I haven't seen him again - maybe he just stopped for the passport photos and moved on north.

Oh well, I'll await the next one; maybe it will be a female who will stay in the yard and bring the guys in.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Maybe he rented a heated apartment for the weekend LOL. I'll resume my watch next week when it warms up again.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Congrats to Claire. We have had a feeder out for a week now and so far no sighting. But this is out first year of trying. I have a neighbor who has an elaborate garden so he has probably attracted them over the years perhaps that will draw some in.

Right now I"m doing battle with a squirrel over who should eat the suet, him or the woodpeckers. My latest effort to defeat him has failed.

Still looking forward to seeing the fist every hummingbird at our house.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

They're here!! They're here in Somers, CT. Just saw one a few minutes ago hovering outside my window, looking in as if to ask, "Yo!! Where's the feeder??" I gave my feeder to the neighbor last fall since I'd never seen one go near it. Instead I grow as many of their nectar plants as are hardy in my zone since I have seen them on those. Neighbor was thrilled to have the feeder and hung it on a fence post in front of his house. A few columbines have buds on them but last night's freeze took a toll on my other perennials.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 1, 12 at 9:24

Congratulations, gardenweed! Perhaps you should try another feeder this year?

I saw another hummer once yesterday, but he didn't stay.

Claire


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Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thanks Claire! My neighbor three houses to the north called me this afternoon to let me know she saw one as well. She'd already put out her feeder so she was able to watch him at it. With so much tree damage from the October storm, I don't have many branches left on the crabapple tree where I can hang a feeder but I may get one at some point.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Saw the first hummer here last night. He flitted in 3 times but didn't act like the regular summer dwellers. Maybe still on his way north, but there is fresh food for him or his relatives just in case. No picture, but I was about 6 feet from the feeder when he arrived...a wonderful sound.
Jane


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Hmm...i did not think they come over so early..i guess i should put the feeder up..anybody seen any hummers near franklin area?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 5, 12 at 11:32

Congratulations, Jane! I haven't heard that hum yet. I once heard the call that's almost like a mouse. There had been heavy rain which finally let up in the late afternoon, and the hummer seemed to be frantic trying to get food without being drowned.

Claire


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RE: First Female

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 5, 12 at 12:05

Just a few minutes ago, the first female hummer appeared. Much more laid back, she perched for a while and sipped before flying off (she just came back again). I think this one's a keeper.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I put my feeder up yesterday and a couple of hours later, there was a female. Also put out my oranges...and just saw my first catbird of the season. Two of my favorite birds!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 5, 12 at 13:10

So the summer residents have arrived on the Cape! (I'm near the Sagamore Bridge on the mainland side) No catbirds here yet - one oriole two days ago.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 5, 12 at 16:12

The residents seem to be here, ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - maybe they wintered in Mexico?

In rapid succession I saw a male,

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and then a female:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

All is well,
Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Excellent! So glad your little guys are back home for the summer. The cat birds are here and boisterous. They also are the last to leave the area as I walk by. Sometimes they don't leave and I can be an arm's length away.

And the indigo buntings (now 3) are learning to pose.

Jane


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Have our first one, too! Arrived yesterday (May 4). Acting like he owns the place. :) VERY happy to see him!!!

But WHERE can I get one of those indigo buntings Jane is hoarding...? :)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

It looks like cinco de mayo is going to be celebrated in CT by all the new arrivals. On my walkabout yesterday, I heard familiar chittering in the big honeysuckle where my guys always nest -- and about 5 minutes later out spun Mr HB flashing his tail and diving in to sip at the feeder. They are busy nesting, and only made a few trips to the feeder today, even tho it was one of those misty days they love.

The summer can officially begin.
lucia


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I just got back form being away. I have not yet seen any hummingbirds in ct yet. But i just my frist Baltimore Oriole. He was checking my suet feeder out. I have to get a Baltimore Oriole feeder.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Finally I can report my first sighting today, one day after I moved the feeder due to the window attachment breaking. I temporarily placed it on the deck railing and the little guy showed up YAY.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 6, 12 at 14:39

Great, rich_manure! Didn't you try that last year or maybe the year before? and you had problems with ants crawling onto the feeder?

Maybe a hook that attaches to the railing would be in order. This one isn't the best setup, I have to secure the base with a bungee cord, and a regular dome won't fit (this is jury-rigged) but the hummers use it and the ants can't traverse the moat. The birds keep a close eye on me, but they come while I'm out on the deck in warmer weather.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Good memory Claire I did have ant issues when placing the feeder on the deck rail. I had a window mount that broke yesterday that's why I placed in on the deck until I had a chance to get a new mount. And guess what I've had dozens of carpenter ants already so I need a quick fix tomorrow.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 7, 12 at 7:28

A temporary fix is to put the whole feeder in a moat. A plant saucer filled with water with an upturned flower pot in the middle for a pedestal would work.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Well finally they are here, in Athol, Ma. I am SO EXCITED. I was out in the yard Sunday May 6th@10:50am and there he was on the feeder perched and sipping. Then came the female for a sip, an other male. I had all 3 at one time on my feeders, they stayed all day long. I think they are here to stay. This morning I looked out and there was the male again fighting off the female for a drink. It has been a long wait, but the wait is finally over. I am happy they are back finally. LOVE IT. I also heard an orielo and I have orange wedges out for them.


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Yay!!! They are finally here in Centerville, MA!! I got buzzed this morning as I stepped out onto my deck. They haven't visited the feeder yet, though.
I'm so excited, as they are our main form of entertainment while sitting on the deck(besides the dog and cat). We are pretty boring people. :)

Teresa


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 7, 12 at 11:13

Athol and Centerville! MA is teeming with hummingbirds! I was admiring the flowers on a new little holly this morning when I heard that HMMMMMM and realized I was about two feet from a feeder. A male RT ostentatiously fed, in my face, maybe warning me not to mess with his feeder.

Teresa: I think watching hummingbirds on the deck is a fascinating activity, so 'boring' is in the eyes of the uninitiated.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Teresa, trade the word 'boring' for observant and Buddha will be happy. If it is boring, you're surrounded by fine, boring folks!
Jane :)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Saw my first hummer today as well. Sadly he arrived when the hummingbird feeder was in my dishwasher - it's my monday thing. But something happened to the feeder while in the dishwasher, so it won't screw back together. I placed the bottom part of the feeder with the nectar on the top of my clothesline. And will be shopping for a new feeder later today

Funny how the butterflies - I think they were frittalaries - were flying around where I keep the butterfly feeder this morning as well. And that feeder was also in the dishswasher.

No sightings since I've refilled the feeders and put them back outside. I guess they will wait until I head out shopping in a few minutes!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I have not seen any hummingbirds yet this year. I had my feeder up last year and they came to it. I think i doing everything right. The feeder has fresh nectar in it. I wash it every time i fill it. I put out in march but did not get a hummingbird. I took it in and put it out again April 15. Could that have anything to do with it? I hope to see the hummingbirds again this. Can anyone help me here and let me know if i doing anything wrong here.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 8, 12 at 16:10

Hummingbird1234z; Are you doing anything different from last year? Such as a different location, other feeders used by larger birds close by, anything that might scare the hummingbirds away?

If everything is the same, just no hummers coming, then maybe they're just not in your neighborhood yet. We've just begun to see them in MA during the last few days and the CT reports are about the same.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Is was 5:23pm and i just saw my first female hummingbird here in ct.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 8, 12 at 18:09

Congratulations!

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

The hummingbird i saw was all green. I looked in my ct bird book but could not find it. So what kind was it?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'm happy to be in the company of such fine, boring people! :)
I haven't seen my little guy since he buzzed me yesterday; hopefully he will be back soon.
It would probably help if I had more flowers blooming in my yard to catch their eye. I'm making a mental note to add more mid-spring bloomers. All I have going on right now is the weedy(yet pretty) lunaria.

Teresa


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 9, 12 at 9:42

Hummingbird1234: Hummingbirds in New England are almost always Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Rufous Hummingbirds are sometimes seen in Vermont and other more northern states (someone on this forum a few years ago reported that she regularly sees rufous hummingbirds). Occasionally a western hummingbird will stray east and excite all the local birders, but ruby-throats are the norm.

Female ruby-throats look all green from the back and that's probably what you saw. Unless you get a good look at the throat, you'll just see green.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Ok thank you Claire it was a Ruby throated hummingbird now that i think about it. I guess i was so happy to see a hummingbird that i just forgot.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

It is funny, because several years ago I had rufus hummingbirds at my feeder often, but for the past 2 or 3 years all I see are ruby-throated hummers.

I have a very weird bird situation on my front porch this year. In addition to the hummingbirds at the feeder, I've always had barn swallows nest in the corner under the eaves. This year a pair of red finches (house finches I guess they are) arrived before the barn swallows and refurbished the old swallow nest.

Shortly after the finches laid claim to the nest, a pair of swallows showed up. I expected a territorial fight but they have been coexisting. I'm not sure if the swallows are waiting for the nest to become vacant (like a timeshare) or what, but they arrive every evening and roost all night next to their old nest, while mama finch sits on the nest. The baby finches have hatched and the finch couple are feeding them. Has anyone ever heard of anything so strange? I'm intrigued and I have a porch full of birds!


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Finally! Hummingbirds in southern Connecticut! Male and female at our feeder this morning and at noon. But the wind has picked up this afternoon and so I don't expect they'll be back for dinner.

Molie


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 10, 12 at 16:50

That is amazing, spedigrees, and sounds very unlike all the usual territorial strife. Let us know what happens when the finch babies fledge. You have wonderful photos of the swallow nestlings in that nest.

I thought I remembered you were the one who posted about the rufous hummingbirds, but I wasn't sure.

Congratulations, Molie!

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Saw my first Ruby Throat yesterday. Just as some of the Rhody's are beginning to bloom. I'm in Millbury, MA just south of Worcester.

Steve


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 11, 12 at 12:27

And congratulations to Steve, too!

Rhododendron/azalea blooming really does seem to be a good indicator. Another one I thought of yesterday is honeysuckle. The wild honeysuckles along the road here (and sneaking into my yard) have been blooming for about a week or two, which coincides with the recent proliferation of hummingbirds. Honeysuckle should have lots of good nectar for hummers - I haven't tried sucking the flowers like we did as kids, although I may yet when I'm sure there's no poison ivy nearby.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I finally got some pictures of Mama Finch feeding her babies in the old swallow nest on my porch. Later this evening I'll try to get a shot of the amicable barn swallows roosting right next to this nest.


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Birds on my porch.

Imagine hummingbirds at the feeder just to the left of the above nest scene, and two barn swallows roosting on the ledge just to the right of the nest, and you have a picture of my front porch in the early evening! I've never seen anything like it! If the swallows take over the nest and raise their own little ones after the baby finches have flown, it will make my summer!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 11, 12 at 17:39

What a wonderful story and great pictures! By the way, that's Papa Finch feeding the kids (Mama Finches don't have any red on the feathers). I hope you get a photo of the barn swallows too, patiently waiting for the homestead to be returned to them.

I just checked the Birds of North America Online site (can't link to it - it's subscription only) and they say that the finch babies fledge at about 16 days, but that there's usually multiple broods in a season. They usually don't reuse the same nest, but then they also usually build the nest themselves. No information on moving into pre-built barn swallow nests. So the barn swallows may have a long wait.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Thanks for the info Claire. I wonder what will happen when these babes leave the nest. It appears you are correct about the genders. All the online photos plus illustrations in my hard copy of "Birds of North America" do indeed show the females of both House and Purple finches as having no red on their feathers. So I wonder if there are two pairs of red finches about, as there was definitely another finch with more red on it in the tree while the one I photographed was on the nest.

Ha ha, my hubby suggested "Maybe they are a gay pair of finches and they had a surrogate and she's gone now."

Who knows? There are more questions than answers. Funny thing is, several weeks ago I went for a walk with my dogs on a wooded path in a town near here and met a couple who were photographers for the Audubon society out taking pictures. They told me how they had seen an endangered species (some kind of thrush maybe?) and showed me a photo they'd taken of a chickadee nesting in a hollow sapling. It was interesting to meet them then, but what a pity I didn't run into them a few weeks later when I could have picked their brains.

Here is a photo of the swallows. They usually scoot closer together later next to the nest to spend the night, but I can't photograph them after dark without using a flash and I don't want to scare them. I wish there had been a hummingbird at the feeder too, but no takers just now.

And a closer up of the swallows:

I hope this isn't too off-topic. A hummingbird would have helped me if it had cosen to feed while I took the photo.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

There here finally at my feeders here in Halifax Ma. Was on patio after work yesterday and all of a sudden they just started showing up. Female and male hummingbirds coming to the backyard feeder all afternoon and evening. Only saw males coming to the front yard feeder chasing each other off sometimes. This morning there still flying in. Hope the same female comes back from last year and nest over my patio again!


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First hummer today and on an apple tree not at the feeder.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Wow, that is cool Skippy, that you had hummers nesting over your patio!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 12, 12 at 11:03

spedigrees: I have no problem with posts straying a bit off topic - it's a little bit like watching a garden evolve in its own way, not what you planned, but still interesting and worthwhile.

I like the pic that shows all three bird venues. It gives a really nice feeling for what it's like to sit there with birds to watch and a great woody vista.

Halifax, MA and now Maine; hummingbirds throughout New England.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I was just wondering how to add some photos to a post to show some off yesterday�s hummingbirds, and to share some of the nest last year?

Thanks.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 12, 12 at 13:24

skippyz71: We have an FAQ on How do I include a photo in my post? This should answer your questions and get you on board (we'd love to see the photos). If you still have questions, just ask.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I move a hummingbird feeder but i did not like were it was so i move it back So i wanted to know if that will mess up the hummingbirds?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

seeing if I added a photo correctly, crossing my fingers

https://picasaweb.google.com/113344713248389925893/May142012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCI771r7ct_v0Ew&feat=directlink


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reply

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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Nice photo, Skippy! Thanks for posting.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

A couple more from Fri. and Sat. when they showed up. One feeder in the backyard and one in the front yard. The new one in front yard is the flat saucer type wich I like because they actually perch on it and sit for awhile.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nOdXD6SLck0/T7I4otCzuUI/AAAAAAAAABg/cF-Alqh149M/s800/IMG_0439.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-i01XK4Huols/T7I4C8Or3PI/AAAAAAAAAA4/9TcCObcTM_Y/s800/IMG_0341.jpg


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

sorry, this adding photo's to a post is new to me.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 15, 12 at 9:16

Very nice, Skippy, and you've now mastered the art of inserting photos in a post. You also show two different types of hummingbird feeders. Do you notice any difference in the amount of use? Do the hummers seem to prefer one over the other?

Hummingbird1234: You may have annoyed the hummers slightly, but they'll adjust to the move with no problem at all.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Hi Claire, I can�t say yet if one is preferred more then the other yet. There are two main differences I can see right away, the bottle type I bought last year they almost always continue to fly while they feed. The main reason that I bought the saucer style feeder this year is that I read that they land while they feed. This has proven true so far as they always stop flying on the saucer style. This has offered two different types of photo opportunities now with the two feeders, flying or sitting still. The second reason I bought a second feeder is that I read somewhere if there is a territorial war over a feeder adding two on separate sides of the property might help, in my case the original in the back yard and the new one in the front yard. Not that I had a problem last year, but incase more came this year they will have an option. Both feeders are busy since this past Friday.

Now to how I started last year and found a nest....
Late spring last year my daughters 6 and 4 1/2 wanted to bird feeders and remembering how much I like the wild birds when I was a kid with my mother feeding them we hung some feeders on a wire between two trees.

Note wire at bottom of picture where seed feeders are hung, also note very center of picture for nest sight later.

Had many types of birds coming before long but after a couple of weeks started having a hummingbird coming and hanging out on the wire at the seed feeders? So next day I bought and hung the hummingbird feeder so it wasn't left out. It started using it right away and I noticed a pattern, it would feed at the feeder then fly to a nearby tree and rest then sometimes to another as if watching if it was being followed. It would then end up going to the branch right over my patio which I looked closely at and couldn't believe what I saw, a camouflaged nest which I would have never saw without watching the hummingbird!


See the nest in the center..

mom at nest..

Two baby's!

Enjoy, hope this wasn't too long.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 16, 12 at 10:32

What a wonderful discovery, Skippy! Your daughters must have been ecstatic (not to mention your own reaction). That nest could pass as a gall or maybe a bit of lichen and probably would never be seen.

The hummer knew you were watching - she's keeping an eye on you but probably figures you're too far away and a lousy flyer so the babies are safe.

Your post is definitely not too long.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'll second that your post is not too long, Skippy! Those are great photos of the hummingbird nest, and the first pictures of a nest & babies that anyone has posted on these annual hummingbird threads I think. What a delightful surprise it must have been to have these tiny birds raise little ones so near to your house!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Skippy,
How fantastic! Hummingbirds always have two eggs -- about the size of pearls. Isn't that the greatest image? My guys rest on the saucer and also feed while flying. They like to sit on top of the shepherd's crook it hangs on. And it's so close to the house. Teresa, we sit on the porch all summer watching the hummingbirds at play.
lucia


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Skippy - I really enjoyed your story. Thank you for sharing that. We had hummers at our feeder tonight and papa kept flying off into the nearby maple tree. It is going to take a lot of self control for me not to get a ladder out and climb into that tree looking for a nest tomorrow.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Hi every one,
It now appears that the saucer type feeder in the front yard is the most active not to say the bottle type out back isn't either. The one out front is all by it's self on a shepherds hook, the one out back is near the seed feeders hanging from a tree? This is my first year starting in the spring and the pattern I�m seeing is male / or males come to the feeders then fly to a nearby tree and watch. If another male comes to the feeder the fight is on! If a female comes some type of show starts. On the saucer I�ve seen a male come and just sit on it and seem to watch the female drink and in between the drinks the female would do some type of body shaking dance. The best was on the bottle type out back Sunday, the male watched from a branch nearby and when the girl came to the feeder he flew down and started this show all around the feeder. Before long they were both in this almost ballet of flight and at one point seemed attached spinning straight up in flight into the tree tops 40ft and falling back down still spinning!
Pixie Lou,
Since I'm new and this is my first year starting in the spring maybe someone with more experience can confirm what I'm seeing above is the mating going on and there might not be nests yet? Last year I started mid July after seeing the female and then found the nest with the babies already hatched and never saw a male at the feeder that I can remember, only the one female. At first you could barely tell there where two babies in the nest but as we watched them grow through the summer they got bigger it was hard to tell how they could both be fitting in the nest. The worst day was in late summer when after work part of the nest looked eaten away and there was only one bird in it. I immediately thought the worst and looked all over the ground for a missing bird and then thought the worst happened, until I noticed mom and a new bird at the feeder. Can only assume this was the baby as it was very unsure and seemed inexperienced as how to feed at the feeder. The next day more of the nest seemed destroyed and it was empty. Now what I assume was mom because she knew what she was doing at the feeder and two unsure birds would always be together and feed together for about a week and a half. After that they would start getting edgy and start chasing each other until they would only come to the feeder one at a time for the rest of the fall.
I'm not sure when the nests are built but I will wait to later in the summer and watch if there is another pattern with a female and hope to see another nest!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Have another special story last summer with these birds. Warning, no song birds or hummers were hurt!


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I'm in central Oregon and I haven't seen a single Hummer so far this year.The latest I've ever had them arrive is May 17th of last year. I'm getting worried, anyone know why they are so late??
I've had my feeders up since April 1st.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 23, 12 at 10:01

Skippy: Two hawks, not one, waiting at what they probably considered the hawk feeder. Very considerate of you to give them that comfortable perch. They look like juvenile Cooper's Hawks - I wonder if maybe they were from the same brood - the only time I've seen two Cooper's together was one adult plus a juvenile.

gramma_julie: We in New England barely know anything about lands on the other side of the Hudson River, much less Oregon which is really far past the Hudson. I think you also get different hummingbirds from us.

Maybe somebody here has an answer for you, but you might have better luck posting on the Hummingbird Forum.

You're welcome here anyway, and we'd enjoy hearing what you find out about why you don't see hummers.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

He's here! And using the glass feeder. Same behavior pattern as last year - using the same branch to rest on after eating.
Jane :)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 24, 12 at 10:37

Jane: Good that he's back, but I wonder about why your saucer type feeder wasn't used as well. You mentioned on another thread that "The top of the flat, round feeder is totally paled out." That happened to my second feeder which was advertised as a "classic" feeder and was on sale.

After a year the top faded to a pale pinkish color while the underside was still red. I saw hummers fly up and down apparently looking at the red underside and trying to figure out how to get to it. Eventually they learned, having little choice if they wanted the nectar.

When I took the feeder down for the winter I took some red nail polish and painted the little ports. I was careful to let it dry well (all winter) and washed it thoroughly. They've been using it this year without problems.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm not seeing any females now at either feeder and just an occasional male who flies in, takes a quick chug, and flies off. The females are probably feeding insects to their young and will be back later. The males may be feeding at the rhododendrons in bloom everywhere around here (but not in view of my window).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Perfect! Excellent idea and thanks for the picture. The other hummer watcher here is now copying your idea as I write this. Two feeders will be hung up this year! Thank you for taking the photo and posting it. Jane :)


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I finally have *proof* that hummers have visited my feeder! They usually show up in the early evening or the crack of dawn - both times when I'm not about to go running out with my camera!

Hummer


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 1, 12 at 8:52

I think we all believed you, pixie_lou, but it's good to see the proof (pictures are always welcome).

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Our First Ever Hummingbird.

On the way to the Kitchen tonight I saw a tiny bird fly in and land on our hummingbird feeder. About the only detail I saw looked like a flash of yellow. As I crept closer to the French doors that open onto the deck, the tiny thing saw me and darted away. Wings were a blur but it could certainly move fast. I suspect that it will get used to us eventually.

We had figured they hadn't found us yet but there it was. I should have changed the food two days ago so I got out there right away and change it out for some fresh food. At least the food is no longer just going to waste as we empty it out.

But it was quite exciting to get our very first ever hummingbird. The feeder was a bit low on solution, too so I think that perhaps they have been working on it for a few days and we didn't realize it. It's cleaned out and fresh now so I'll be tracking it over the next few days to see if they drain it down.

At some point I'll set up a film camera on a tripod with a remote release and try to get a close up photograph of one on the feeder.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 9, 12 at 7:02

Congratulations, StephenStephen! The first hummer is very exciting, and so are all of the ones to come. There's just something thrilling about seeing those little bitty birds at your feeder. They should get used to you being around so it will be easier to get photos.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

We saw a second one just a few minutes ago. This one seemed smaller and it did not land. It hovered out there with wings flapping and then moved in to feed.

I didn't think to grab the binoculars but I could see a tiny very bright red patch on it's front in the chest or throat area.

So that means we now have at least two of them that have located us. Pretty cool. Which reminds me I need to make more food as we are out now.

For some reason I've always thought of people who were getting hummingbirds in as having some special gardening skill or talent or something I couldn't do. But this really wasn't difficult at all. They eventually did find our feeder.

Probably the biggest hassle is the frequent changing of the food to make sure the feeder does not become contaminated and sicken the birds.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Has anyone been seeing a lot of hummingbird? I have not seen as many as i did in the begain. I have nice fresh neator in the feeders. So where are the hummingbirds?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 10:03

For the last month I'd been seeing much fewer hummingbirds than usual, only an occasional male. The females stay away during nesting time, feeding the babies insects, but they should have been past that by now.

A few days ago, they came back and the last few days I've been seeing them regularly at the feeders. A female flew up to the kitchen window, checking me out, and they've been at both feeders. I wonder if for some reason the first brood failed and the hummers went through a second round of nesting and concentrated on catching insects for the babies. I saw one hummer exploring a feeder as if it had never seen one before; maybe a newly hatched hummer.

I'd say to stay patient and keep the nectar fresh. they'll probably come back.

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I see a male at my feeder around 8 every morning and around 7 every evening.

Also keep in mind that there are so many flowers in bloom right now, so many additional food sources available for the hummers.


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I live in CT and wanted to know when the hummingbird migert south for the the winter?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

I live in CT and wanted to know when the hummingbird migert south for the the winter?


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 3, 12 at 14:12

I can't say for sure, being in MA not CT, but usually hummingbirds head south from New England in mid September and early October, depending on the weather and location.

It's heartily recommended that you leave a feeder up for at least a few weeks after you see the last hummer. That way you'll feed any migrants coming through that got a late start or are coming from farther away. I keep a feeder filled until around November 1, just in case.

Did your hummingbirds come back this summer?

Claire


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RE: Hummingbird Spring Migration 2012

Yes my hummingbirds came back to my feeder some time in july. The feeder has been very busy.


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