All posts by thebestnest

End of the Hummingbird Season

ruby throated humming bird enjoying pineapple sage

Here in the southeast our fall weather is just about upon us. The mosquitoes and the heat are just a few days away from leaving us for months.

The ruby-throated hummingbirds have been fairly light this year. Here in NE Atlanta they arrived on time, right around the end of March but it wasn’t until late July that we saw any hanging around. My best guess is that in this region we are just in a hummingbird lull that has been happening for the last couple of years.

This should be nothing to worry about. I haven’t read any articles suggesting that our favorite jewel is on the decline. My own reasoning concerning the bird is not scientific, just an observation followed by very limited local nectar sale’s data.

With the middle of October just around the corner the last ruby-throated stragglers will soon be leaving North America. Hopefully they will have an excellent winter in Southern Mexico and Central Latin America and come back in abundance!

10 Cool Hummingbird Facts

 I ran across this article from our corporate twitter account. 10 interesting hummingbird facts that you may not have known.

Here’s just a piece of one…

“75 percent of the bird’s weight is supported by the down stroke, while the other 25 percent is lifted by the up stroke.” They do this by inverting their wings on the upstroke.

Now you got to admit that pretty cool…

European Starlings

If you are like us at BirdReady.com then you probably feed your local bluebirds religiously. I know we do. In fact we don’t really mind if the wrens take their share, or the warblers stop for a few but the European starlings are another matter.

I agree they are God’s creatures and need substance. We get it but… they will consume the entire bowl of mealworms in a heartbeat. Just check out these two aggressively chowing down!

European Starlings

There is a fix for this… they’re called sanctuary feeders or another type is a caged mealworm feeder. Basically they both work the same way, if the mealworm loving bird is bluebird sized or smaller they get right in. If they are robin or starling sized well they don’t get right in.

If this is a problem of yours go to your local wild bird store and ask for a bluebird sanctuary feeder or a mealworm caged feeder. This is a simple fix that will probably save your mealworm budget and keep the bluebirds, wrens, and warblers very happy.

Rufous Hummingbirds

Living in NE Atlanta we traditionally receive only the ruby-throated hummingbird in these parts. However, occasionally during the winter, the rufous hummingbird comes to us as a lost vagrant.

I shouldn’t really say lost we’re not sure why this hummingbird is here.  This small bird is found in the NW and Canada during the summers and should migrate back 3,900 miles to Mexico every winter. They migrate in a clockwise motion going up the west coast and come back down through the Rocky Mountains.  How they get so far east of the Rocky Mountains during their return trip  is anyone’s guess but they do on occasion show up here!

There are other hummingbird vagrants that show up as well but the rufous is the most usual of our unusual hummingbirds. Some people in Georgia see so many of them that they will keep  their hummingbird feeders up all winter.

Here’s a great pic I found on Twitter. Thanks to @NaturePH0T0S for the twitter post.

Hummingbird Courtship

I saw this picture and just had to pass it on…

Here is a wine-throated hummingbird showing off his feathers.

You won’t  find this bird in the US. It is a non-migratory hummingbird native to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Hawk Moth – Not actually a….

Great video of a couple of hawk moths. These are not actually hummingbirds they are part of the Sphingidae family of moths. Also called sphinx moths.

These moths actually fly like hummingbirds having the same type of flight abilities. Although not as fast as hummingbirds for an insect they are relatively fast reaching a top speed of 12Mph!

Thanks to  @HortErotica for this video of two of them on a plant.

Nectar Dots

We just brought these little hand held hummingbird feeders into our retail store in Johns Creek, GA.

The directions say  to take the nectar dot and go stand next to your hummingbird feeder. The hummingbird will eventually find the nectar dot in your hands – then you are good to go.

Here’s a video I saw in twitter on it being used. Thanks to @lolbook for sharing the video!