I’m going to make an extra effort this year to track the hummingbirds at our feeders. Just one day after musing about their migration habits last week, I read Joan Morris’ column in the San Jose Mercury News. One of her readers sent in the following:
Dear Joan: I’ve been feeding the hummingbirds from my patio in the same Palo Alto location for more than 10 years now.
Ms. McClellan of Saratoga, who wrote regarding how often her feeders need refilling presently, is probably experiencing what it is like to feed the migratory hummers that pass through our area each fall and spring.
Her Saratoga neighbors probably need to refill their feeders as often during these several weeks while the birds fatten up before moving south.
It will quiet down any day or week now as winter shows more and the migrating birds finish their trips south. Just a few hummingbirds stay over winter locally, and nectar needs will drop.
Then in the spring there will be another, shorter surge of feeding needed on the hummingbirds’ migration north.
I have noticed the increased consumption of nectar at the feeders (we have three). It’s really cooled down in the last few days, finally feeling like fall. My California Girl uniform of a thin t-shirt and cotton sweater are no longer enough to keep me warm.
I found an informative website called World of Hummingbirds. They have a form on their site for reporting migration habits in your area. They ask you to wait two full weeks till the last sighting, before submitting details. I’m looking forward to taking part in this one small way. They use the collected data to: “help researchers around the world better understand and protect hummingbirds.” I’m all for that.