This is something you've got to read. I am beyond amazed at what's currently happening in my garden. Most hummingbirds have left our place, with the exception of 1 young that's ready to leave, and 2 females(mothers). It can be really difficult to tell all the hummingbirds apart when you have 10 or more in your yard, but when the numbers are narrowed down to just a few, it's much easier to follow their patterns and habits. About 5 days ago I witnessed 5 birds migrate in the exact same S.E direction from my place, and this is normal, but on that same day I witnessed 3 go in the S.S.W direction. I've seen this before but this time it was different. Wednesday evening and all of Thursday, I saw the same bird(which I previously thought was 3 different birds) heading in that same direction.
Here's what's remarkable. This is a mother that I've now determined to be collecting food from our yard and heading to her nest in that S.S.W. direction. She has to fly to a group of trees that's at least one mile away from our place. What's more amazing is that she makes a round trip, to and from that location every 12-14 minutes. She's covering 2+ miles every 12-14 minutes to feed her young. In that 14 minutes is a 30-60 second break at my end and then back to work. This is repeated continuously during feeding time, which can last 2-3 hours at a time. That's about 10 miles of flying EVERY HOUR, not including the chasing and other nonsense that goes on when she arrives. The work she does to raise her young is mind blowing for me. It's an enormous amount of work and stress on such a tiny little body, and this doesn't include the migration journey she still has to take.
She shows up to a perch high in a poplar tree, and surveys the area before she drops down to the feeder in the back field of our property. She feeds for about 1 minute before hovering in and among the trees, gathering many insects, and then takes her 30-60 second break. She then goes back to the feeder for another minute to fill up with even more nectar. She leaves the feeder and takes the exact same path around the same trees(unless interrupted), and rises up into the sky and heads back to her nest somewhere in the trees beyond the golden farm field. Each time she returns to her nest she has an insect and nectar mix that she carries back to her young.
I took the picture in actual distance, so it's not zoomed in or out. This is the view that I have as she comes and goes.
Female Ruby-throat hummingbird. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 23, 2018
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