Hummingbirds’ Migration Marathon
Could you finish a marathon race? How about 38 of them, a distance just under 1,000 miles?
Well, as crazy as it sounds, that’s what some hummingbirds are doing right now.
The next few weeks are your best opportunity to see hummingbirds. Adult hummingbirds are now joined by a horde of juveniles as they head south to Central America and their winter territories, some traveling thousands of miles.
It’s estimated that more than seven million Ruby-throated Hummingbirds return to the tropics each winter, along with six million Rufous, three million Broad-tailed, and millions of other individuals of various hummingbird species.
En route to their destination, hummingbirds will take part in an eating binge that is unmatched at any other time of the year. A high-calorie diet is important to build fat reserves for their migratory trip. So be sure to have your hummingbird feeders filled with a nectar solution.
Bird banding studies indicate that, with very few exceptions, the hummingbirds visiting your feeders on a late-migration day are completely replaced by a new wave of migrants within 24 hours.
To estimate the number of hummingbirds using your feeders during migration, multiply times five. For example, if you see 10 hummingbirds at your feeder at one time, you will have about 50 passing through your yard that day.
Visit us soon, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to enjoy these miniature migrating marathoners.