I have been enjoying this weather. I never thought I would say that we need a shower but honestly my garden is dry and hard. I have so many things I want to do outside.
The hummingbirds are keeping me busy filling the feeders. I have two wrens here at the house and Bluebirds in the front yard. How much more could I ask for?
Some of you may notice that you are seeing less of the Hummingbirds this time of year. The absence of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in late May and early June (in a normal year), is normal. In fact, fluctuation in feeder attendance is to be expected. Depending on where in the state you live, the arrival and departure of breeding and migratory birds vary. In the spring, a surge of northbound migrants use nectar at the feeders. Once the migrants pass through Missouri, the crowd tapers off, leaving the state’s breeding summer residents, a sizable population in Missouri’s wooded landscape.
Males are fiercely territorial, defending feeders and flowers for the females to use during the spring nesting season. But nesting females don’t visit the feeders often. Rather, they spend their time hunting insects to feed their newly hatched nestlings. After the young fledge in early July, more birds will gather at the feeders again.
As southern migration starts in late summer and early fall, the number of resident hummingbirds may decline. Adult males are the first to depart, heading out in early July. Females and the young follow. Backyard feeders serve as welcome pit stops, offering birds a place to reset and refuel. Feeder visits will reflect this as the flow of southbound migrants through Missouri increases, peaking around Labor Day. The crowd of hummers will gradually taper off until the last hummingbird straggles through in mid-October.
My rule of thumb on feeding them is May 1 through October 1. This usually catches all of them. I thoroughly enjoy them and their diving bombs and protective feature. Quite a lot of entertainment for sure.
Until next time, good birdwatching.