Several customers at Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing have inquired about a perceived lack of hummingbirds this season. This can be either good news or bad.
Last year we had an early spring, then a freeze and then a drought and the hummingbirds really found the feeders useful when the wild flowers were dying and the bugs just weren’t available in the heat. Then in 2013 we had a wet spring in mid-Michigan with lots of flowers and bugs available. Hopefully the hummingbirds in the areas where people are reporting lower numbers have just found lots of reliable natural resources and are not frequenting the feeders as much this year.
Hummingbirds need food, shelter and water to survive. Less visits may mean they are finding plenty of food available naturally. However, make sure you don’t use pesticides in your gardens. And remember to change your nectar solution of one part sugar to four parts water with no other additives at least once a week. Plant lots of native flowers to provide nectar and compost your old banana peels and apple cores to attract fruit flies for the hummingbirds to consume. Then keep an eye out for these jewels in your garden.
In July most of the female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have finished nesting and adult males that have defended territories since early spring, leave their hard won territories and female, males and juveniles are all starting their pre-migratory wandering.
Counting the juvenile hummingbirds, numbers in our area should increase and continue to increase through August and September as birds from more northern breeding grounds make their way southward through our area. I usually see my last hummingbird mid-October and take down the feeder Halloween.
- What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://goo.gl/MK3AU
- Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
- The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
- Why the color on a hummingbirds’ throat flashes http://bit.ly/JZ31qX
- When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR