If you are anything like us, you are likely surprised by each and every time you have a glance at your calendar this summer. For many of us, it certainly seems as if we just flipped the calendar to July and already are prepping for a changeover to September.
While we might be saying goodbye to summer (hopefully not too quickly!), we are also transitioning into an exciting time of the year in the birding world; fall migration. Despite preparing to say goodbye to a number of our summer birds, this time of year offers the unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of other birds passing on through on their way south.
One particular summer species that has been keeping us on our toes this year is the ruby-throated hummingbird. A favourite among birders here in the Ottawa area, these tiny birds have been keeping us entertained throughout the season and in what seem to be record numbers.
Currently speaking, we are running between four and five hummingbird feeders in our yard, depending on the week. Keeping them spaced apart, we have watched certain feeders get dominated by either male or female hummingbirds. As an example, our feeder at the front of the house is fiercely guarded by one male who looks like he has seen a battle or two, while our feeders at the back of the house are mainly visited by female hummingbirds.
For those that don’t know, these tiny birds are extremely territorial, especially around a reliable food source, hence the need for multiple feeders in any given yard.
Despite their size, these birds are preparing for a very long migration this fall and as such, are in need of the proper nutrition as they prepare. With some hummingbirds heading as far as the jungles of Costa Rica, it is not hard to imagine how much fuel these little guys and gals will need before they leave.
The plant-based sweetener that we use is specially formulated (no red dye!!) and contains all of the necessary vitamins and minerals our hummingbirds need to survive the traveling season. Be sure to routinely clean your feeders and always make sure they are full over the next month as this will not only give you an opportunity to enjoy them before they leave but also to ensure once they do, they will have the proper energy they need to get down south.