Sun, 21 Aug 2005 21:17:32 PDT
Just this morning I watched a male Ruby Throated Hummingbird investigate various coleus in a flowerbed.  I was surprised to see it so close to the ground.  And they are in migration, I've had nearly double numbers at the feeders this last week and the resident female is guarding 'her' feeder' vigorously.  They regularly examine petunias, salvias, 'Stargazer' and rubrum lilies in the same area.  In June they also checked out the Dichelostemma 'Ida Mae' in another bed.  In my mother's garden they hang out at the Rose of Sharon bushes and a mimosa tree.
Although hummers start arriving here at the heighth of daffodil season, I've never seen them visit a daffodil bloom.  And I've never seen one at the Amaryllis Belladonna.  A couple of years ago there was a small study done on whether hummers went for red flowers (I think it was published in WildBird Magazine).  The consensus, as I recall, was that while they went to orange, yellow and purple flowers they visited red and pink flowers 2 times as often.

A terrific website that tracks their spring migration and includes lots of good information on more species is:
Another nice site, primarily for students and teachers, is: 

There are about 16 species of hummingbirds in the U.S. and Canada. It was traditionally thought that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were the only Hummingbird found east of the Mississippi River, however, recent bird banding research has documented 11 other species of Hummingbirds in the east. While most of these are wandering vagrants, sightings of the Rufus Hummingbirds have become much more frequent during the past few years. 

Linda Wallpe
Cincinnati, Ohio USDA 6
where the hummers are going through 4 cups of sugar water a day now


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