As we always say times is going way too fast. As many of you read this, it will be September 12, with the month being on the way to being half over. I know many of you are still enjoying those hummingbirds at the feeders. I know I am. I had one person ask about the honeybees near or on the feeders. He glued tiny washers around the feeding holes and this stopped the bees. I have also heard about spraying cooking spray on the feeder as well. I have not had any trouble with ants this year, after I used the Terro kits to put outside. Completely ridded the whole perimeter of my house of ants.
The Ruby-throated male arrives in the spring before the female, and the female follows a few weeks later. In fall, the males depart first to make the return trip south ahead of the females. In the mornings, the males patrol their territories by flying around the perimeter and vocalizing.
Rubythroats have a very long migration period. In the Northeast, spring migration extends from mid-April through early June and autumn migration can begin as early July and last through late September some extending until as late as November. Here in the Midwest, the general rule for the hummingbirds are May 1 to start arriving, and October 1 to begin to leave for the winter. They can begin to migrate by the middle of July. The birds you see in your backyard by the end of August are almost certainly not the same ones that have been around earlier in the summer.
I usually take my feeders down by October 1 as you don’t want them to over extend their fall stay. They will migrate during the day, although they may also fly during the night when they are crossing the Gulf of Mexico. By late August or early September, almost all the adult males are gone from the northern and central parts of their breeding territory. Females and young will continue to migrate for another month or so. They can fly hundreds of miles non-stop over the Gulf of Mexico.
I hope you are enjoying the fall and the hungry hummingbirds. Until next time, good bird watching.