Males Migrating First
August 30, 2016 by Rita Welch

With adult males leaving first — and females and juveniles left behind — there's less competition for food and more time to prepare for migration.

"Juvenile male doing a Saturday afternoon ballet." Notice the red throat feathers just beginning to grow.
Amy Evoniuk from Newburgh, Indiana on August 27, 2016

Who's Who?
It's difficult to tell juvenile males from adult and juvenile females. They look almost identical. However, nearly all birds with noticeably streaked throats are young males. Their throats usually have some dark streaking — green, black, or sometimes tan. By now you may be seeing a few red throat feathers, but the juvenile males do not get a full gorget until their first winter.

"I still have 4 hummingbirds; one is an adult male. I'm not certain which of the others are adult females or juveniles. They are busy chasing each other around and eating constantly," reported Jean from Dublin, Ohio on August 28th.

How Much?
Measure the volume of food your visiting hummers consume. Tell us what you discover.

"I have been using 1 gallon of hummerfeed per day for over a month. It's been a swarm around my 4 feeders. Today will be the first day that I'ill be using less than a gallon because the mature males left sometime yesterday or early this morning," reported Burtie from Clinton, Arkansas on August 26th.

Notice how steadily your hummingbirds are nectaring at flowers and feeders, getting ready to leave. The tiny birds burn food so quickly they often eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight per day. They must visit hundreds of flowers to gather enough nectar. Your gardens and feeders help them double their weight to gain sufficient fuel for their journey south.

"Going through a quart and a half of sugar water a day."
David from Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey on August 27, 2016.


Featured Resources
Burning Food Fast Burning Food Fast
Fall Migration Begins...

Feeders in the Fall
Bees at Feeders
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Report at least once a week while hummingbirds are present during this fall migration season.


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