On the Move

September 11, 2018 by Elizabeth Howard

Southerners say numbers are climbing while northerners note male departures - and signs that others are preparing to go.

“The migration this year is heavier than we have seen it in 20 years.” September 4, 2018 Wayne Severson, Bogata, Texas

Surging in the South

Southerners are starting to see BIG numbers as peak migration approaches.

“The total number of birds in front of me at any one time is indeterminable, as the trees in the background are full of birds, birds are coming and going, nectaring in the turk’s cap, and at the other feeders. There are eight stations total. All were filled at dusk yesterday. Stations #2, #5 and #7 were emptied (all 30 oz.) this morning.” 9/4/18 Bogata, TX
“The hordes have now arrived. Just a few days ago we only had a dozen or so. Now too many to count.” 9/5/18 Willis, TX

“The wave of hummers in the Frio Valley has escalated. There are at least 64 total spotted at one time! That’s 8 feeders X 8 holes occupied.” 9/10/18 Leakey, TX

Passing Through

Hummers are on the move throughout their breeding range. Most of those you see now are likely migrants passing through, not your familiar summer residents.

I have never seen so many hummingbirds at the same time in my garden—I’m thinking our recent rains may have stalled the migration, and now the clear weather is bringing large numbers through all at once. I counted at least 8 in my field of vision at one time, so presumably many more were present on the property. They were fighting over the feeders at dusk last night. When I woke up this morning, the activity seemed to have calmed down, but now as the afternoon continues, I think I’m seeing more migrators traveling through again. The ‘regulars’ are busily defending their territory. Quite entertaining, but I hope they won’t hurt each other!” 9/6/18 McFarland, WI

Leaving Soon?

As temperatures fall and days get shorter, juveniles and adult females are preparing to go. Keep a tally by your feeder. Record the date each time you see one. Can you catch the date of your final hummer of 2018?

“Three very active hummingbirds are still here continually fighting and chasing each other. We can see they are putting on weight for the long journey ahead of them.” 9/8/18 Mount Cory, OH

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