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Are The Hummingbirds Back?

Anyone seen one yet? While sitting out on the front porch earlier this afternoon I think one flew by me rapidly just 8-10 feet away. (They'll do this to tell me the feeder is empty!) I can't be sure, only got a rapid glimpse and heard it. No large insects here yet to confuse the issue. What's going on?


We've been here in the same location for 34 years now, and the "Hummers" always arrive March 10th, 11th or 12th. Not before or later, and since our Son's birthday is 12 March it's easy for us to keep up with the arrival. It's almost a ritual with us. I've got to be wrong about thinking one flew by rapidly like that, but maybe not! Anyhow I cleaned up the hummingbird feeder and filled it and hung it up where it's always been. We'll see----but, anyone seen one this early?

Replies

  • 4WARD4WARD Senior Member Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,968 Captain
    I have been wondering about a late freeze.
    Then heard a few fellas I respect were wondering the same.
    Weird winter around here.
    Any thoughts woods?
    I always plant my little garden on the March full moon, only been burned one time.
    It was a winter like this one, just not as wet maybe
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Where is Cross Creek? Where in Florida?
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet Senior Member TallahasseePosts: 5,807 Admiral
    I haven’t seen one yet, I’ll keep an eye out. Seems spring is very early this year
    You should have been here yesterday
  • BodineBodine Senior Member TallahasseePosts: 3,108 Captain
    I would guess they migrate by the level of the sun, not by temps
    My blueberries are in full bloom and citrus is putting on flower buds.
    F the feds
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    You're right about migrating by the sun. Actually it's the angle of the infra-red rays (invisible to us) that triggers migration of virtually all migrating animals and birds. Even the fall shut-down of plant leaves manufacturing photosynthate (food material) and the re-crank-up in the spring is triggered by this, and in many species of wildlife, including plants from grass to trees, this angle can be so sensitive to be triggered by a short period of 24-48 hours. Birds and small mammals seem to be very sensitive to this. 
  • trout069trout069 Senior Member look at gps and tell mePosts: 5,885 Admiral
    Little early, for down there and up here. March will be the month. Temps dropped up here all day. May awake to ice, from rain. 
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    That's what has me a little confused---it's too early. March 10th-12th, 34 years running!
    We do have an occasional hummer species from California that will pass through in January-February, but these are slower flyers and about twice as big as Ruby Throats, our only Hummer, and it surely wasn't one of these.
  • CaptJCaptJ Senior Member Key Largo (Mostly)/Miami(As little as possible)Posts: 1,885 Captain
    Saw one in Key Largo sunday
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Senior Member Zone BPosts: 2,359 Captain
    Haven't seen any yet. Wife's Honey Suckle has blooms so we're always watching. Will put the feeder out soon as we see the first one. Will be on alert for the Catbirds and the Whipperwills as well. Whipperwills will migrate through for a couple of weeks and then go on to their summer haunts. The Ruby Throats will be with us all summer. Been a bird observer/watcher long as I can remember. I'm gonna record dates for first observations for all three this year. I think the March dates are close for us as well. 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    As I mentioned, we've been in this same location for 35 years now, and it's a perfect area for bird watching. We're on the northwest corner of Lake Hiamonee (Lake Ammonia to us locals) adjacent to Tall Timbers Research and several Plantations of several thousand acres each. But----

    We've not seen or heard a Whippoorwill or Bobwhite in many years. Catbirds, either. Used to see them moving back north, but no longer. An occasional Robin, but rare also, now. It is definite and sure that our wildlife species are in decline overall. Spent my whole working career attempting to preserve and improve our natural environment with very limited success, sadly.
  • dewyafishdewyafish Senior Member Posts: 5,025 Admiral

    Hummers in our little corner of the world usually arrive the week that turkey season opens which is typically the 3rd Saturday in March.


    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • stc1993stc1993 Senior Member Posts: 10,400 AG
    My whole family except 2 lives out on Pearson rd in Worth Co.

    My mother feeds the hummingbirds.  I've seen as many as 4 fighting over the feeder.  They'll zoom by you right thru the porch.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet Senior Member TallahasseePosts: 5,807 Admiral
    edited February 2019 #14
    What do y’all use for food? Sugar water? What’s your ratio? I guess red food coloring is bad for them, so not supposed to use that anymore. I used some premade stuff I bought at a nice nursery that has some vitamins and some non harmful red dye. My neighbors got upset ( I’m not kidding), because I was pulling all of them away from their feeders.
    You should have been here yesterday
  • micci_manmicci_man Senior Member Somewhere in FLPosts: 15,001 AG
    I use a 2-1 ratio water to sugar, no coloring. The color of the feeders attracts them for me. Now that we are in the new house I'm ready to get more feeders going as I have more places to hang them now.  
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Senior Member Sylvester GAPosts: 3,912 Captain
    stc1993 said:
    My whole family except 2 lives out on Pearson rd in Worth Co.

    My mother feeds the hummingbirds.  I've seen as many as 4 fighting over the feeder.  They'll zoom by you right thru the porch.
    Hunted off Pearson for years until some folks rented the place out from under  me. It was nice hunting 5 miles from the house
  • stc1993stc1993 Senior Member Posts: 10,400 AG
    edited February 2019 #17
    I've seen some big deer out there over the yrs.  And some big rattlers on that big curve before you get to Harris & Co Line rd.  I don't kill them anymore. It's strange the snakes are always in almost the same place.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Senior Member Ozello Fl.Posts: 13,077 AG
    I have catbirds all year, haven't heard a whip o will yet this year.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • 4WARD4WARD Senior Member Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,968 Captain
    Where is Cross Creek? Where in Florida?
    20 miles south of Gainesville.
    Your post just got me thinking what this weird weather has in store for spring.
    More warm and wet than I ever remember.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Senior Member Zone BPosts: 2,359 Captain
    4Ward - I think we're having a repeat of last February.  It was a very warm February with a little cooler March....
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Senior Member Ozello Fl.Posts: 13,077 AG
    I hope it's cooler, i don't like this heat..


    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • micci_manmicci_man Senior Member Somewhere in FLPosts: 15,001 AG
    Any of you have chuck will's widow's around your house? I have both during the summer.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Have heard neither in many years and don't understand why. Perfect habitat here, and used to have both but what happened to 'em? Maybe, just maybe, these new-fangled hearing aids the Mayo Clinic stuck in my ears will show me a lot of stuff is still around. We'll see!
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet Senior Member TallahasseePosts: 5,807 Admiral
    edited February 2019 #24
    micci_man said:
    Any of you have chuck will's widow's around your house? I have both during the summer.
    Heard one last evening 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Senior Member Zone BPosts: 2,359 Captain
    We get the Whipperwills during Spring Turkey then the Chuckwillswidows for the summer.  Enjoy both!
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • jcbcpajcbcpa Senior Member South GeorgiaPosts: 2,547 Captain
    I always put my feeders up on March 15th and usually have hummingbirds within a week.
    That's a tax filing deadline so that's how I remember it. 

    God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals, and thinks in man.

    Arthur Young

  • swampwalkerswampwalker Senior Member Zone BPosts: 2,359 Captain
    Catbirds showed up Saturday. Looking hard for the Humingbirds. Hanging feeder after rain stops to day. 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,235 Captain
    A male hummer came to my feeder yesterday for the first time. That's 7 to 9 days earlier than any March in 34 years. I have a friend who is (was before we retired) more involved in wildlife biology/research than I, so I called him. He thinks it's all correlated with our far above average warmer weather. Now we'll see what happens the rest of the week as it really cools down. I'm changing out the feeder and filling it this morning to help out those that have arrived early. (The female is still coming to the feeder numerous times a day).
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