The 2014 migration has progressed right on schedule. We have yet to see any females move in but Spring has been reluctant to stay for more than a couple of days in a row. Overnight lows in the 30's right now but another warm-up is due this weekend. We've had plenty of rainfall the last couple of weeks so everything is greening up and growing. Looking forward to our new summer hummingbird residents any day now!
What an amazing late Winter and early Spring we've had! I can't remember another year when it warmed up this early - and STAYED warm - than this year. Looking at the latest migration map, it appears that the hummingbirds have noticed as well. I've NEVER seen them this far North this early.
Here in South-Central Iowa, we typically see them arrive in very-late April or the first of May. Tonight, on March 24th, I am preparing our first batch of nectar for the feeders and will be setting them out tomorrow.
An extra month of hummers this year? It's looking like it!
So the dog days of summer have arrived. It's super hot and humid now with plenty of natural food for the hummers to feed off of. The Cardinal Flower has fully bloomed and has been a hot item since! Still see the birds taking advantage of the feeders in the early mornings and before dusk.
We witnessed several instances of the mating ritual over a 3-4 week span so we'll be looking for an influx of the kids to show up at the feeders before long. That's always fun!
Today, Saturday, April 30th, I can confirm that our hummingbird season has begun!
While working in the yard this afternoon, I witnessed my first sightings of the season at our feeders. We've had our feeders up for a couple of weeks now in anticipation. The bird or birds I saw today were small males and females which are the ones we see stay around all season.
Typically, we see 2 or 3 giant-sized scout males early but haven't seen them this year. This first sighting is right on schedule based on past experiences in this area.
Plant selection has begun as well and this upcoming week will be busy as we get our annual lady-in-red salvias planted, as well as a few others we're going to experiment with this time around.
April 2-14: Fort Morgan, Alabama Bird Banding. HBSG bands all birds, including hummers. Dawn to mid-afternoon. The banding site is free and open to the public, although there is a fee to enter the park. Contact: 205-681-2888.
May - September: Hummingbird banding demonstrations at Onondaga Cave and Montauk State Parks. Dates TBA. For details, see Onondaga Cave State Park
August 19-21: Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah, Henderson, MN. Speakers, vendor displays, garden tours, children's activities workshops, field trips and banding. For details, see Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah
September 15-17: Hummer/Bird Celebration, Rockport, TX. Speakers, banding, vendor displays, field trips--this is the big one! Complete details on the website. For details, see Rockport Hummingbird Celebration
October 8-20: Fort Morgan, Alabama Bird Banding. HBSG bands all birds, including hummers. Dawn to mid-afternoon. The banding site is free and open to the public, although there is a fee to enter the park. Contact 205-681-2888.