Monday, March 16, 2015

Hang out your feeders--spring hummingbird migration is on!

Male black-chinned hummingbird.
For the last four years, our first Spring hummers flew in March 10th



Black-chinned males first, always. The guys want an early start to stake out territory. They know that the boys with the best turf get the girls.




We might have seen the front-runners a little earlier than other folks in our south-central Texas range because hummingbirds return to places they've found food in the past. 




Our feeders stayed out through the cold season, catering to over-wintering rufous hummers.

Rufous hummingbird.

And our gardens included hummingbird-habitat with early blooms such as native Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens).



Black-chinned females follow later, usually by at least two weeks.



The feeders do more than offer a rest-stop; quick energy can be the difference between life and death for early arrivers encountering wet and cold.

Copyright 2009-2015 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
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