Migration Update: September 14, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Week #4: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Let Us Know!
"We will miss the mighty warriors!" declares an Illinois observer as southbound hummingbirds pass though. Fall migration is a busy time for hummingbird banders; see how 6-year-old Kaylie helped. This week's article and activity focuses on bees at the feeders. What works?

Please report weekly (both "Hummingbird Sighting" and "Adult Male") as long as hummers are present. Photos always welcome!

Migration Map
Hummingbird fall sightings
Animation | Live Map
Highlights from the Migration Trail

You can read all of the observations people have submitted here. Some of this week's highlights:

Still Enjoying Hummers in Canada

Numbers are way down in the north, but September 13 brought 4 very active hummers to Digby, NS, where Marilyn reported them at the feeders from dawn till dusk. A few single females or first-year birds were also reported in the provinces of NB, MB, SK and ON.

We'll Miss the Mighty Warriors

Some northern places reported nighttime temps in the 40s; cooler weather is often a shove south for migrants. Mostly females and first-year birds are now reported in the north, but only a few males:

"Resident ruby-throated male has not yet left. He is still dive-bombing juveniles and travelers. We have seen many come through in the the past several days. We will miss the mighty warriors!" declares Tommy from Park Forest, IL.

Tilly reported 12 on the 12th in Sanford, MI, saying: "In the past years, we have not had this many visitors after September 9th. We are thrilled that the Small Winged Wonders stopped by on their journey south.

BIG Numbers in the South

The week brought reports of 30, 32, 22, even 50 in some southern states. In Mississippi, Debra King is "putting up lots more feeders to handle the load" as hummers continue to arrive. "The numbers just exploded," declares Mark in Tennessee. Angela in Garfield, TX declares never such an abundance of hummingbirds as they've seen this year.

"We had more this year than ever before and used about 65 pounds of sugar feeding them," writes Judy of Hannibal, MO.

"Saw more birds today than I have ever seen," said Thomas in Waterford MS on 9/11. "Birds were swarming so much that I had to refill 6 feeders before 2pm.

Kaylie Helps Hummingbird Bander

Fall migration is a busy time for bird banders, and they may ask for help. Kaylie Shreve, age 6, got the chance when she visited her grandmother in Hannibal, MO. Kaylie released the first bird of about 60 that were caught, banded and released at the Illinois Audubon Society Hummingbird Festival on August 2. She did so well that licensed hummingbird bander Vernon Kleen invited her to help carry birds from a cage to the banding station.

Images of the Week

First-year hummingbird
hummingbirds at feeder
Swarming Around Feeders
Hummingbird comes to hand-held feeder
Hummer Handout
Hurry With Our Food!
Kaylie releases a newly banded hummingbird.
Kaylie Helps Out
Bee Careful, Little Hummingbirds: Article and Activity

Diane in Kansas observed a wasp and a hummingbird sparring over one of her nectar feeders. "The wasp appeared to have the upper hand, as he chased the hummer away from the feeder three times. The hummer finally came back to the feeder, but only after the wasp had gone."

Explore how to keep other nectar sippers away from your hummingbird feeders:

  • Article: Bees at Your Feeder?
  • Activity: Create a feeder Tip Sheet and share with your neighbors that feed hummingbirds.

Hummingbird at feeder with bees
Photo: John Doerper
Bees at Your Feeder?
The next "Still Seeing Hummingbirds?" reminder will be posted on September 21.