Are you seeing many up there in this heat? Sue saw one either this morning or yesterday - a female. She hadn't seen one in a while. Haven't noticed Shirley posting about any for the last week or so. I haven't seen anything but butterflies for awhile.
MoB' Fewer Hummers this summer but about twice the number of Adult Male Ruby-throated, this is curious. Don't think the recent 'heat wave' is affecting the Hummers. Had three days with higher temps than FL. On thur we were 6 degrees warmer than Lakeland at 8 AM. Joe M. Lakeland, FL
All my hummers are heading south! Have noticed that my hummers have been adding weight and half of them have departed in the past 10 days. So for all you hummer lovers you should start to see the beginning of the fall migration within the next 6 weeks in FL. Within two weeks I will not have more than a 'straggler' or two through the beginning of Sep. Joe M. Sturbridge, MA
Another 'wave' of migrating hummers have come through in the past 3 days. Have five feeders up but for some reason (only the 'Hummer' knows), they have been zeroed in on one of my home-made feeders (8-9 refills a day)! Keeps me on my toes. Most of the birds are hatch year males (all those in the picture). Getting filled up and preparing to head south.
Well over 3 inches of rain the past 40 hrs. but the hummes are still filling up. Last two days brought another "wave" 20+. Will miss them and look forward to seeing my returning hummers in Lakeland. Joe M. Sturbridge, MA
30 Plus Hummers about 4 days ago and now there are about 6-8 today. Am not expecting another 'wave' of migrants this late but one never knows for sure. Have had two waves and usually that's about it except for stragglers. Picture of a bird this morning sticking his tongue out at me and one yesterday with a damaged bill. He appeared to be handling the injury well and was able to use the feeders. Everyone expecting to see migrating hummers in FL this fall should have their feeders up, as they should be passing through for the next 45 days. Regards, Joe M. Sturbridge, MA
"Last of the Mohegan's" Three weeks ago I had about 30 hummers here in my yard and today, one. Overnight temp's are headed for the mid 40's this week and the little guys know it. They are headed south and so will I next weekend. Hopefully we will see some old friends in the back yard as soon as we get back and put the feeders up. Best to all and good 'hummingbirding'! Joe M. Sturbridge, MA
Fred Bassett (Hummingbird Bander) is in Idaho and on wednesday banded 183 Hummers of which 163 were Calliopes. The others were Black-chinned and Rufous. Those numbers appear astounding but not out West, where the Hummers are.
2012 Update from MA. Have been disappointed in the numbers of hummers here this summer. Have 8-12 on a daily basis but have noticed an uptick the past few days and an increase in the amount of sugar solution I'm making up every day. Past few days 4 cups a day vs 2 cups a day previously. Little doubt that migration from this area of the country is getting started. Folks in FL should see an increase in activity in the next month. Still waiting to see a rarity here in MA (never have seen one) but it's still a bit early for any chance of that happening. I will probably have to wait until I get back to Lakeland. Best to all, Joe M. Lakeland/Sturbridge, MA
The first wave of migrating 'hummers moved on two days ago! Numbers dropped from the 25-30 range to about 8-12 yesterday and this morning. As of about an 3 hours ago we have been inundated with 5-8 birds at every feeder (5). Pretty typical here this time of the year with about 3 'waves of hummers coming through the area. They will be in FL in numbers in the next 30 days. Had to make up about a quart of water to refill feeders the past hour. Life is good for a hummingbird fan!!! Expect this group to fatten up over the next 3-4 days and move on with maybe one more 'wave to follow (the lagards). Mid to late August usually marks the time that there are very few still moving through this area. Joe M.
Still waiting for another "wave" of Hummers here in MA! But I'm sure that some of the early migrants are already visiting feeding spots in Fl and prepareing to continue their journey south. In reviewing photos I took yesterday I noted a band on a beat up female and it was the first banded hummer I have seen in the past ten years. Unusual because the band is on the left leg which would rule out being banded by any 'bander I know. Joe M. Lakeland and Sturbridge, MA
Never saw the Hummer with the left leg band again but thought you might like to see another shot of a hummer with his bill open. Fairly certain it's an immature male. He had just finished drinking heavily and I think he might have had to 'burp. ;D We are still seeing a fair number of hummers here in MA, which is a bit unusual, this late, but the weather has not turned very cold as yet.
Sue had a male Ruby show up last Sunday and she continued to see it through the week but not since Fri. Her female that has been around for over a year now still comes off and on - no one is using the feeder. Firebush and Porterweed are favorites.
I only saw the one female that one day and nothing since. Feeling very lonely right about now.
Does anyone know why they have the bill open like this? I've seen two lately that had the bill open like this (or perhaps it was the same one). At first, I thought there was something wrong with it and maybe wasn't able to drink but it would drink and then hold its bill open like this again. I had never seen this before.
Been awhile since I posted from the summer place in MA. In general the hummers have been numerous in numbers, nothing like FL. Refilling 6 feeders for about a month to the tune of 1 1/2 qt. to 3 qt. a day. This morning there are fewer hummers and maybe indicates the majority of birds have migrated through and on their way south! Also appears that the nesting season was extended by a week or two by the abnormally cold winter/spring.
For those that may be interested in molting. Hummers replace old worn feathers throughout the year. Their primary flight feathers are replaced in the winter after their migration south and prior to their northward migration. Adult males replace their gorget feathers prior to their journey north to enhance their attraction to females in their breeding grounds. All hummers replace their body feathers usually after the breeding season is over. Not many observers note their body feather molt, since it's not as obvious as primary or secondary flight feathers missing or a gorget that looks pretty ugly!
If you look closely at this photo, taken a few days ago, you might see all the pin feathers that are emerging on this male that has started his body molt.
I haven't posted anything from MA for quite awhile but here are a few photos I took today. It's always nice to spend a couple months in MA during the summer and see dozens of hummers, out here in the woods in rural MA.
We are almost ready to head back to FL after spending time here with all the hummers during the past two months. As usual the number of hummers start to decline in mid August and by early September only a few stragglers are passing through.
Virtually all the adult Ruby-throats have left leaving the flowers and feeders to the youngsters. The adults know how tough it is for the young birds to survive their first year and its their way of helping them survive by not competing with them for food.
Photo of a young Male using a feeder this afternoon.