Post by DonsNatureNotes on Feb 20, 2014 12:48:34 GMT -5
It is time to get your garden and nectar feeders ready! The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will start their spring migration north soon.
They tend to ride favorable winds from the Yucatan Peninsula over the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and the northern Gulf Coast. These wind currents help them make the flight across the Gulf of Mexico in about 18 hours.
You will know when these winds occur as they are consistently strong from the southwest for several days bringing warmer, more humid, weather - and the hummingbirds!
The favorable wind currents occurred during the last two weeks of February last year bringing an early arrival of the hummingbirds. We were able to forecast the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrival to the day - which was a combination of studying wind patterns, field reports, and a little luck!
Outlook: There is a slightly favorable wind pattern today through Sunday, February 23, for arrivals along the northern Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana. However, the most favorable wind pattern looks like it will occur after March 1st. I will monitor and post updates over the next two weeks until the first arrivals are seen.
In the meantime, now is a good time to get your garden and feeders prepped for our magical feathered friends!
Post by DonsNatureNotes on Mar 12, 2014 14:48:52 GMT -5
March 12 Update:
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration is in full gear! Males have entered their southern breeding range over the last two weeks and, as of today, are as far north as Central Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Females have started to arrive in Florida and along the northern Gulf Coast riding strong southwesterly winds over the last few days. Hummingbird watchers throughout the south should start to see the females arriving over the rest of the month. As is normal, they are arriving about two to three weeks after the males. Males will start claiming territory and chasing out rival males. Watch the males put on their spectacular mating "dive" to impress females by making big "U" shaped dives in the air.
Remember to help Audubon scientists by reporting your hummingbird sightings. They need your data to help develop conservation programs to help the hummingbirds. You can report sightings online or from your mobile device. Visit Audubon's Hummingbirds at Home to learn how.
Post by DonsNatureNotes on May 3, 2014 16:51:09 GMT -5
Ruby-throated hummingbirds have reached the northern part of their summer breeding range in southern Canada May 1st. Spring migration will continue through May as the last of the travelers complete their journey north. Once they settle in watch males perform dramatic U-shaped courtship dives to impress females and chase away other males from 'their' gardens and feeders.
Help Audubon scientists help hummingbirds and report your hummingbird sightings online or from your mobile device. Visit Audubon Hummingbirds at Home to learn more and report your sightings today!
Here in Pensacola I have had ruby throats at my feeders since June 25th, today one juvenile male and one adult male (at least). Hoping for more - I've had feeders up for several years now and each year the numbers of birds have increased.Last year I had 5 at one time (not a lot but better than none and hopefully even more this year).