The 2012 Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration Whispers Early Spring

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Mar 222012

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Check out these “early birds”!  The ruby-thoated hummingbirds are letting us know that spring really is here. It was March 25th last year that I reported that the hummingbirds were spotted in Ohio for the first time. Take a look at the difference on the Hummingbird Map. This year the first ruby-throated hummingbirds were picked up in Ohio on March 19,  2012. That is almost a full week before they arrived in 2011.  The ruby-thoated hummingbirds as of March 20th and 21st are as far north as the Great Lakes, northern Illinois into Wisconsin and into the central part of New York. It really is going to be an early spring and what a nice gift to have your hummers returning to your area sooner.

After spending the winter in Central America and Mexico, the migration of the ruby-throated hummingbirds takes about two or three months to complete. The males lead the way with the females following about one and a half weeks behind.

Here are a few interesting and amazing facts about the ruby-throated hummingbirds. These little hovering birds often fly upside down and backwards. They flap their wings around 53 times a second. This hummingbird species is the only one that breeds in the eastern part of North America.

The 2012 ruby-throated hummingbird migration has begun, get your hummingbird feeders out and filled up. The little guys are here early and they are hungry—they had a very long journey. I put my hummingbird feeder out yesterday and am waiting for the first ones  to pass through here or, better still,  for my hummers to be back for the summer. They remember where the feeders were last year so keep them in the same place.

Mar 272011

The ruby-throated hummingbirds are filling in the southern areas of the United States. In February, the ruby-throated hummingbirds were first seen in the Gulf of Mexico area around Mississippi and Florida.   The destination for some of these tiny creatures will be as far north as Nova Scotia, Labrador, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. To see the hummingbird’s progress so far, go to the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Spring 2011 Migration Map.   On March 25th, the ruby-throated hummingbirds were spotted in Ohio for the first time this year.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird At The Hummingbird Feeder

Last year the ruby-throated hummingbird traveled west into the mid section of Texas.  How far west will they venture this year? It will be interesting to see!

Watch the ruby-throated hummingbird migrate around the Allegheny Mountains. They will go around the mountain areas in parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Will they take this route this year?

Did you know these facts about the ruby-throated hummingbird?  Their heart rate can get up to 1260 beats per minute and  the hummingbird has the largest brain percentage-wise in relationship to total body weight.

It’s not too early to put the hummingbird feeder out.  They will definitely need a few sips on their way up north after their long trip from Mexico or Panama.

Visit my other posts for more information on Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Spring 2011 North American Migration and prepare your hummingbird feeder for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

Aug 202009

Bird feeders are a wonderful way to attract different birds to your yard.  There are several factors to consider when trying to invite birds to visit your bird feeder.

First, what type of birds are likely to be in the area?  This can vary by season. During the migration months you may have visitors early in the season and then again as they migrate back to their winter feeding grounds. You will also have the birds that are year round residents. You will soon get to know them.

Next, determine the type of food that the birds you want to draw are most likely to eat. Finches and sparrows eat seeds and grain.  Hummingbirds sip on nectar.  Tanagers eat fruit, while blue birds and woodpeckers will dine on insects. Seed mixes, hummingbird nectar, dehydrated fruit and insect products can all be purchased.

Now it’s time to select your bird feeder.  Chose a feeder that will hold the suitable food.  There are feeders that are designed to hold large or small seeds, some that will hold a syrupy nectar and others that have a small cage to hold a suet cake.  Other factors to consider when purchasing the ideal bird feeder is the size, the ease of filling, and the ability to keep it clean. Plastic bird feeders are generally better than wood ones because bacteria and mold can form more easily on wood bird feeders.

Equally important, is the placement of your bird feeder. Never place it too close to buildings to prevent birds from flying into the windows. You may need to prevent squirrels from getting free meals at your feeder. There are devices available to eliminate this problem. Large birds need to have a landing area close to the bird feeder.  Bird houses nearby increase the probability of birds using your feeder.

And finally, you need to determine your feeding strategy. Will you be feeding all year round or just during the winter? Do you plan on feeding daily? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide exactly what bird feeder you need.

Bird feeders can provide year round entertainment. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of birds that will be visiting your bird feeder.   So when welcoming birds to your yard remember it takes more thought than just throwing some seeds in a bird feeder.