Adios Adult Males

August 31, 2018 by Elizabeth Howard

It's time to say goodbye to your resident male - if he hasn't already left.

“I believe this male has been with me all summer, and I’ve named him Mighty Mouse. He is still with me as of today,” noted Michele Blanchard Seidel in Caledon, Ontario on August 26, 2018

Disappearing in the North

Across the north, sightings of adult males are becoming more scarce.

“Haven’t seen a male in about a week.” 08/27/18 Germantown, NY

“No adult males but many females and juveniles feeding aggressively at feeders.” 08/29/18 Mequon, WI

Appearing on the Migration Trail

Careful observers can tell a visitor from a summer resident by watching its behavior. Where the visitor rests, how long it stays, or how tentatively it feeds at the feeder are reliable clues that the bird is passing through.

Adult male feeding at feeder. He didn’t stick around. This was a new guy most likely heading south, not my usual male.” 08/27/18 Erie, IL

Who’s Left?

Adult females and juveniles remain for awhile after the adult males leave.  But don’t judge the male hummingbird as a poor father for leaving early. After he’s gone, the mothers and juveniles can feed without competing with him for food. This is their time to prepare for migration. Newly-fledged birds need the time to mature and gain fat reserves before flying off on their first migration south.

Who’s Who?

Juveniles and adult females look almost identical. Our identification guide shows you field marks that can help you distinguish one from the other. Test your skills with these pictures.

Identification: Male, Female, Adult, or Juvenile?