It’s the 1st week of November and that usually means one thing here in Johns Creek, GA… The hummingbirds have left.
The hummingbirds arrived right on time this year. I was tracking them as they hit Macon, GA on the 15th of March. Then like clockwork I saw them at my own backyard on March 30th.
Some of you may know that I own the Wild Bird Center of Johns Creek. The store is located in Northeast Atlanta suburbs. We are just east of the foothills that lead to Blue Ridge Mountains.
From my “perch” at the store I get to hear hummingbird stories all season long. Here is the trend that I have been hearing for the past few seasons.
- The ruby-throated hummingbirds have been arriving right on time but their numbers coming through during early spring are light.
- The hummers that do arrive in early spring typically don’t stick around. They are probably continuing their journey to the borel forrest in Canada.
- Sometime after Mother’s Day we start to see the hummingbird activity pick up. It’s around this time that I will put up my 2nd nectar feeder.
- From Mother’s Day until the middle of July the activity has been just so, so around here for the past couple of years. We are not seeing the ruby throated hummers fighting for the nectar yet. It’s appears those that are here have the feeders to themselves.
- Right around late July the bulk of the birds start arriving and I will put up my 3rd and 4th feeders at this point.
- From the end of July until the 2nd week of October is our busiest hummingbird period. And it is busy with hummers fighting each other all day long trying to control their favorite feeder.
- My best guess is that we are not experiencing a loss of the number of hummingbirds in our area. Probably the northern flyway has shifted either to the left or right of us here in NE Atlanta. However on the hummingbirds return trip to the south our neighborhoods are right in the flight line which is why we get so busy in late summer and early fall.
Now that the hummingbirds have left go ahead and take down your nectar feeders and give them a good cleaning. Use a 5% bleach solution to kill any mold, mildew and other unwanted bacteria. Scrub the feeders out, dry them and hang them in the garage until next season.
Don’t be too sad the hummers will be back in six months!