Hummingbirds, off topic

Joe Shaw
Sat, 30 Sep 2006 12:52:50 PDT
Hi Gang,

The Monarch butterfly article got me thinking about another famous migrant 
in this area:  hummingbirds.  I don't know much about them, or all of the 
various species involved, but they fly north in the spring and south in the 
fall.  Perhaps some stay all year in greater Houston area, or perhaps a bit 
further south.  Some stay for summer and raise babies.

I don't put out feeders, but I do grow some plants that hummingbirds enjoy 
(no bulbs come to mind).  I have several neighbors that put out feeders 
spring, summer, and fall; fall seems to be the busiest season by far.  One 
neighbor with four feeders had (on average, at any given moment about 1 hour 
before sundown) about 80 birds coming and going from her feeders in early 
September, 2006.  They are hard to count, never staying still for long.  So 
feeder counts are estimates of blurring, buzzing, and momentarily sitting 

The migrating birds are different from the summer birds; summer birds set up 
territories and defend feeders from other hummingbirds.  In fall it is a 
giant food-festival and birds seem to know where to find feeders; there seem 
to be few fights or territorial displays during migration.   They don't 
exactly line up politely, but they all seem to take a turn at the feeders 
and then zip away.

Gene and Linda (neighbors from 2 houses over) take great care to put up 8-10 
feeders and keep the full and clean, and have done so for several years. 
Gene estimates that, during peak southward migration (September and October) 
he can use as much as 40 lbs of sugar a week as he fills, and refills 
feeders several times a day.

It would be very interesting to know if people can plant bulbs to assist 
hummingbirds trough the various seasons.

LINK:  Hummingbird Migration, General Info

LINK:  Hummingbird Web Site: Home

LINK:  Hummingbird Feeders and Recipes, etc.

LINK:  Rubythroated Hummingbird, common species in Houston area



Nice warm weather, sunny and rain free for the hummingbirds.

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