Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

I have recently put my Hummingbird feeders back out! I don't know why I didn't get them out earlier in the summer, since they are so much fun to watch! I have them placed just outside of a window so I can photograph them! Right now, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are migrating. Males usually start migration first, beginning typically in August. Females will follow next, then the juveniles. They typically winter in Mexico & Central America, flying across the Gulf of Mexico! This amazes me, considering the size of the gulf!

 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird sunning herself between drinks from the feeder

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only species of Hummingbird that nests east of the Mississipi river. So, during the summer, if you live in the east & see a Hummingbird, it is most likely a Ruby-throated. However, once the migration begins, you should pay close attention to the Hummingbirds that come to your feeders. Somethimes, other species of Hummingbirds have been known to come through. Just last November, a Rufous Hummingird spent some time at a feeder in Logan County Kentucky.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Many people wonder if leaving their Hummingbird feeders out later in the season will prompt the Hummingibrds to stay around longer than they should, causing them to miss migration. Most of the sources I have read say, No! Hummingbirds migrate when their inner clock tells them it's time to go! A wonderful resource to learn about anything Hummingbird is They even have a migration map that lets you follow the migration reports! It's very cool!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird (notice how his gorget looks black from this angle, for a great explanation of why, check out Ryan's post from earlier this year)


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