Just like our hummingbirds have a trigger to when they migrate south, the same thing happens during their summer stay in Central and South America. One moment they're protecting a feeder, the next their focus is strictly on moving to their summer location of the North. Those triggers will be going off like crazy over the next week, as it's time for many to start their Northern migration.
I know that I'm not alone in the excitement for Spring. The fire gets lit under many gardeners and birders this time of year, and although Winter still provides me with 20 inches of snow on the ground, Spring will arrive quickly. That first "Honk" of a Canada Goose is my Spring harbinger, but the smell of melting snow, freshly dug soil or the most beautiful song of the Robin or its other songbird cousins, just ignites a fire in me like nothing else. Although many people would consider me a little over the top with my fascination for hummingbirds, there are others just as nuts as I am. It's not strange to plan your summer around hummingbirds, or to dream of multiple species of them showing up in your garden. It's normal, perfectly normal.
Over the next week we will see the first arrivals of the Ruby-throats appearing on the Southern Shores of the U.S. Every one of us will start to plan and prepare for our own "Ziggy" to return. The first to show up will usually be the males. Many of the previous year's males will follow a dedicated route back to their summer home, while many of last year's juvenile males will be searching for new territories to call their own. These hard journeys will include escaping predators, flying thousands of miles, at times with little food, and battling fiercely with others. So for those who want to participate in their success, be sure to have your feeders out 7-10 days before their normal arrival date to your region.
This photo is of my "Ziggy". After showing up last Spring, he arranged all his priority perches to keep an eye out for the soon to arrive females.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. May 2017
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