First hummingbird yesterday

Discussion in 'Community Forum' started by zone1, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    Guarding my lovely bluebirds
    Hummer battles commenced at some point, while I was inside getting warm again. They are now at each other full tilt above and around me, as one of my dogs keeps me warm. Still nippy outside at 54°F... not my kind of weather...

    Portly Rufus just momentarily perched in guard mode.
     
  2. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    Guarding my lovely bluebirds
    Made fresh sugar water and cleaned one of my three feeders. A totally disgusting experience it was, indeed. I could not figure out what reeked so strongly, while taking that feeder apart within the kitchen. I noticed the very top of the feeder had become blackened, upon its exterior, finding such to be extremely peculiar.

    As I removed the top piece of red plastic (typically unneccessary), containing the hook for hanging it, I had an eureka moment. Around five stink bugs quickly scattered into my kitchen sink. Although I felt guilty about it, I ran the water and initiated the garbage disposal. I simply cannot believe that even one had managed to squeeze itself beneath the cap, because it is a rather tight fit.

    Rufus must have headed south, because he vanished not long after last update. He is my favorite of all of the hummers. The adult females and juveniles remain, but they are putting on weight for their pending journey.
     
  3. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

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    When do they usually migrate? I haven't seen one since Wednesday, and only two then.
     
  4. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    They add 30% body weight for departure, with the adult males leaving first. The females and juveniles remain for a while, before heading south themselves. I no longer recall how much longer they remain after the adult males, but by November 1st sticks within my memory as departure date. It is based upon light.

    I was concerned that I might have waited too long to check their feeders, because two of three were almost bone dry, and I had not noticed any hummers flying about while handling all, but two finally buzzed by only a moment ago. The third feeder was corroded from ants and remained almost full, for it all. It is now soaking within soapy vinegar water.

    Checked my red cardinal flowers for seed, while at it all. Totally mind blowing how extremely small those seeds happen to be, as well as the vast many contained within merely one pod of many. I checked only one pod out of curiosity. When the landscapers depart with their loud machines, I shall collect all of them. Loverboy wannabe has already paused to ask why I haven't called him; so, the seeds will simply have to wait. Not going there...
     
  5. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    Guarding my lovely bluebirds
    This article for Kentucky is chalked full of information.. The one thing that I disagree with is this:

    "Ruby-throated hummingbirds have little or no song."

    ^...mine are almost constantly talking, some more so than others. Rufus was exhibiting extremely strange behavior, last time I saw him. He was hanging out within a small sappling, guarding the feeder by the spare garage, and he was chatting up a nonstop storm for a couple of days, loudly, but especially one day. I could hear him from approximately fifty feet. I walked over, trying to determine what may have been amiss, but he was too focused upon the other hummers to pay me any mind from three feet below him. I have a tendency to believe that he was dealing with unwelcome migrators from up north. They were all about, and he was in high hear battle mode those last few days.

    "Migration
    By late July the birds begin their migration southward to their wintering grounds...

    Taking Down the Feeder
    There is great debate about when to take a hummingbird feeder down. Some people say the birds will not migrate if feed is still available, which is not true. You should leave your feeder up as long as the birds are coming to it. Migrant hummers normally show up by late July and will continue passing through until October.

    If you leave a feeder up, you might help a late migrant make the journey or you might get some unusual visitors. For instance, in 1998 a black-chinned hummingbird ate a feeder from December 12 through December 16 in McCracken County, Kentucky. Rufous hummingbirds were seen from November 23 through December 30, 1998 in Carlisle County and on January 4, 1999, in Lexington.

    While feeding is the best method of bringing the birds into your yard, you can also provide natural sources of nectar by planting certain flowers and shrubs. Some suggestions follow..."

    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/for/for97/for97.htm

    One last thing, one hummer flew through the deck garden at such high speed, that it seemed to somehow make the sound of a jet airplane. It wasn't the typical buzzing noise but more of a whistle and super loud. First I had heard that, and I am almost always around them. I am guessing that it was Rufus.
     
  6. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

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    Mine are all gone. Gonna clean and store feeders tomorrow. Will have 2-3 more next year. I've enjoyed watching them this year.
     
  7. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    I've had two adult females battling it out throughout today, as well as my juvenile female visiting the deck feeder, but their activity has slowed. Speak of the little spitfires, they must have read my thoughts, because in and out they both just went, with neither being able to feed. I think that my juvenile male must have migrated within the past couple of days.

    Add some of their preferred flowers this fall, some that will bloom early and mid spring, so that you will attract even more. Breck's can help you out there, but you don't have much time left to order and get them into the ground, with old man winter stalking Kentucky. One of my spitfires was after my petunias this morning, but they have other flowers remaining as well.

    "... Leave your feeders up and full for two weeks after you see your last hummingbird visitor to ensure they have the sustenance they need to make the long journey ahead..."

    https://www.birdsandblooms.com/bird...ating-facts-about-fall-hummingbird-migration/
     
  8. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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  9. muddhunter

    muddhunter 12 pointer

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    I’ve got a couple here and there. No regulars. Stragglers I guess. I’ve been told to keep them out till the first frost or so. That gives them the opportunity to feed if they stop by needing some energy on their trip.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  10. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

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    Hmm, hadn't thought about that. I'll leave one out just in case....
     
  11. bigbonner

    bigbonner 12 pointer

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    I have not seen any for the last few days . It seems early this year . May mean the weather is going to get bad.
     
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  12. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    Guarding my lovely bluebirds
    My female juvenile came in for her last feeding of the day at 6:45pm. Temperature was 63°F. She is much like her Daddy, Rufus. She perched on the feeder and filled herself, then simply sat there quietly staring at me for about four minutes straight, less than three feet away from me. Hopefully she has a safe journey down and back here.

    I checked forecast then, noticing we have warmer temps beginning tomorrow, high of 81°F, climbing up to the upper 80s thereafter for the week. I'm guessing that they will all be much more active then and have simply been going into torpid more, since it has been rather cold of late. I know that I was outside less, for it all, but it was more pleasant today.

    "This usually happens on cold nights, but sometimes they go into a torpid state during the day."

    https://www.hummingbird-guide.com/hummingbird-sleep.html
     
  13. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

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    We still have about 3 females hanging around.
     
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  14. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

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    Guarding my lovely bluebirds
    Three confirmed twice this morning (don't always see them together, thus cannot be 100% sure more fail to be here). All female (two adults and my little girl).

    Little girl alerted me to one rather huge spider having taken up residency six feet away from my rocking chair. She agitated it by stealing one of its prey. She returned within five and hovered directly in front of the spider, trying to decide whether it was wise to tackle it and refrained. It's a rather large web, and I do not like its placement, simply because it is located in a flight path. I may remove it for that reason, leaving the others for my hummers, having read such is beneficial for them. I have also refrained from removing any of my red cypress vine,

    https://www.shutterstock.com/search/cypress+vine

    even though it is currently shading out a few of my prized hostas and more. I am going deal with that issue in unique fashion.

    Check out the photo of this rare albino hummer from two years ago (seriously cool)

    https://journeynorth.org/hummingbir...72019-males-move-females-and-juveniles-remain
     
  15. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

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    I saw two yesterday. First I've seen since last Tue or Wednesday of last week.
     

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