Friday, March 13, 2009

Ready for hummingbirds

It's still too early to expect the first male ruby-throated hummingbirds; they've made it up to central Georgia on the most recent map from Journey North, and north GA on hummingbird.net, but the colder weather this weekend will slow them down. Last year, hummingbird.net reported sightings on March 23 and 24 in our area -- probably the earliest scouts! The males come first, to scout out and claim their breeding sites, followed by the females a couple of weeks later.

The males roughly follow an overnight temperature isothermal line in their migration, staying just about the freezing line, according to Operation RubyThroat, managed by Bill Hilton, an active hummingbird investigator and naturalist based at Hilton Pond, in York Co, SC.

Our first sighting last year wasn't until April 13, when we saw a single male. But I've got the feeders ready as of this afternoon.

Here's a young female coming towards the porch feeder last summer.

3 comments:

  1. Nice web links Lisa. I bookmarked both of them. We love having the hummers around our house. I mark their arrival on or about tax day. I have lots of flowering plants that attrack them.

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  2. We used to have a female and several males who would feed at our feeders. The female would wear herself out chasing the males away from the feeders. It was funny to watch. They came back year after year.

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  3. I really enjoy following the migration north and south, and monitoring abundance. It's great fun to watch them in mid-summer visiting the feeders, gleaning insects, and rearing young (in a good year!)

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