Migration Update: October 5, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Week #7: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Let Us Know!
A dip in sightings for the second week in a row signals the slowdown of the journey south. Meanwhile, an observer describes hummer winter habitat in Costa Rica, where she awaits her first ruby-throated arrival. Your hummer may be headed there, too.

Please continue report your sightings weekly!

Tip: DO NOT REPORT if hummers are gone. The map shows where hummers are present.

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

The journey south has slowed since our peak weeks between September 6th and 20th. Watchers in southern states eagerly await stragglers from northern states, and reports indicate there are still hummers headed their way. Some highlights:

Northernmost Sighting
Ontario still had a sighting report as of Oct. 3:

"After a week with no sightings, we were glad we had cleaned and left the hummingbird feeder up. Our visitor arrived at 10:45am during a light rain and stayed until dark. It visited our feeder 13 times and enjoyed the flowers as well." —Glenna in Mississauga

Tanking Up
This week's buzzwords include feeding furiously, tanking up, feeding sunrise to sunset, drinking like there's no tomorrow, just a quick sip and gone, still fast and cute, must go before they freeze—and "I'm going to miss them!"

Sightings of one or two dominate the reports now, but an Arkansas observer still had 12 on Oct. 4. Another reported 15 on October 1:

"Feeding still. Must know they are going on a long journey." —Sharon of Hartselle, Alabama

"We have three feeders out, and the hummers were all over them."—Sherry in Palestine, Texas

Tip: Keep your feeder up all day for stragglers. Bring it inside at night, and put outside in the morning so hummers don't drink dangerously cold liquid.

You can read all of the observations here.

Images of the Week

Hummingbird nectars at a flower
Numbers Dip
Hummingbirds flutter around a feeder in Iowa
Still in Iowa
Hummingbirds share a feeder.
Fueling Station
A Helping Hand In Kansas

"Today only one, so the stragglers are still coming through southeastern Kansas. One female flew in our open back door last week and upstairs, where she lodged in between two slats of the window blinds. I was able to reach out and close my hand over her (whew!) and carry her back out onto the deck. I laid her on the cushion of a deck chair, and she lay there with wings outspread for a full two minutes before taking off, apparently with no harm done." —Marilyn of Coffeyville, Kansas

humminbird with abnormal bill, at feeder
What About This Bill?
Where Are They Going? Letter, Photos, Journal Page

Patricia is eagerly awaiting our northern hummingbirds to arrive at her garden in Costa Rica. She will report to us when her first hummers arrive. This week she describes what awaits the hummers in this lovely winter habitat:

Did you know?
The ruby-thoated hummer is only one of the 19 species of hummingbirds found in Costa Rica, and the only one that migrates. Such species-diversity is astonishing in a country so small; Costa Rica is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

Article on Costa Rica, hummingbird winter habitat
Strangers at the Feeders

Two creatures appeared at feeders in Alabama and Indiana. Can you name them? Another creature shared an Indiana feeder. Take a closer look:

lizard investigates hummingbird feeder praying mantis at hummingbird feeder

Graph: Number of roosts reported as of September 14th each year

Lizzy, Is That You?
Margaret Cummins

Predator or Prey?
Mae Watson

Dinner for Two
Beth Haisley
The next "Still Seeing Hummingbirds?" reminder will be posted on October 12.