Brrrr! Go South!
From Carroll, New Hampshire, Leslie reported each day this week on her hummer. Can you find the bird in the photo? Leslie's detailed observations show a week in the life of a female hummer still far in the north. Read below the photo for other days in the past week of observations. What do you think will happen next?
"First sign of her at 6:34AM, temp 44F. Weather today was warmer in low 50's but windy and blustery with periods of mist and rain. Continues to visit feeder thoughout day with last sighting at 6:16PM. The birch, poplar, cherry clump has so few leaves. When I do see her perch there she attempts to perch as if to camo herself. Great display of instinctual behavior but I would much rather see her turn on the ultimate one to migrate!"
Photo: Leslie Bergum
The little gem is still here! She arrived at 6:32AM, temp 32F. Changed the frigid nectar for room temp right before she arrived. For first hour I watched to make sure she had access and that port holes didn't freeze. Her last visit of the day was at 6:24pm, Temp 47F. At one point late in the day she was perched high above a line of fir trees on a birch branch, with sunshine on her she was facing in a south, south westerly direction. She was preening a bit and seemed more active. She zipped off in a further direction and I was hoping she had made her way but not 10 minutes later she was at the feeder. Within my binoc field of vision watching her perched I could see small insects flying. High today was 54F, slight breeze with some sun and clouds.
6:34AM RTH arrives to the feeder, a silhouette in the dawn. Temp is 37F. Late morning clouds clear to views of snow covered summits of the presidential range. Snow line at about 3K ft. Bird remains in the area all day and visits regularly as often as every 15 minutes. Last visit at 6:27PM, temp 43F, and spent 3 minutes at the feeder. Recieved email from regional data reviewer from Ebird who wanted to see photos. Concurs it is a RTH. Believes I should continue with feeder and she will go when she is ready. Submited photo for today is hard to tell but you can see snow covered mountain in the background and trees bare of leaves. Bird is in lower left corner.
First observation was at 7AM although I suspect RTH was at nectar feeder at daybreak. Temp was 37F. The summit of Mt Washington appeared frosty once the fog and clouds cleared. RTH continued to frequent the nectar feeder all day. Her last drink was at 6:30 pm. Inbetween visits she would retreat to birch,cherry,poplar clump which is pretty much bare of foliage at this point. At times she would be gone for awhile, I suspect taking cover in the fir trees and across the street where there is more sun and thermal gain. Temp at 6:30pm was 47f. I did not see many insects today. I took many photo with my (not so good) camera. Amazing to see her with the White Mountain Autumn backdrop. Torpor probable tonight. I am really hoping she fuels up in the morning and continues her Journey South. I love watching her but it is time to FLY little one!
Dawn(6:30am) this morning, bird was observed perched on nectar feeder. Some rain over night, temp 53 at 6:45am. Bird visited feeder on and off all day. Between visits would perch on nearby small clump of poplar,cherry,birch. Light winds increased with accompanying rain as day progressed;foliage became less and less in that area. I suspect bird is now seeking cover in fir thicket next to decidious clump. 4pm now, rain a little more steady,51 degrees; bird continues to visit nectar feeder.
A very unexpected surprise! Observed Hummer around 1:45pm, it spent the afternoon taking advantage of the nectar feeder I continued to keep out for any potential migrants passing through. Fueling heavily at dusk. Got a few photos snapped. Temps in the high 60's today, sun finally after many days of gray and rain. Yet to have a hard frost, insects still present. It is peak foliage in the Bretton Woods area.