I would say that it's pretty much official that many Ruby-throated hummingbirds have started their northern migration. It's about the middle of February when they start pushing northward in Mexico, and the late February when the first few start to arrive on the southern shores of the United States. Once they get into full migration mode some will travel about 50 kilometres (30 miles)north per day. The first birds to arrive will typically be the males. Many will arrive at the same summer locations where they were last year, while others will find new territories. The males will not overcrowd a territory as this lessens their opportunities for breeding. For those residents new to attracting hummingbirds, this will be your opportunity to attract mostly the first year males and first year females. All successful adult males and females from last year will more than likely show up at the territory where they had good success previously. Just about every living thing on this planet develops habits, and then they stick to them until some type of danger forces them to change it. If you had a large population of Males late last summer, there's a good possibility that some of them will find a new territory of their own. These birds have one intention in Spring, and that's breeding, and if they have to share a territory with other dominant Males then it would be counter productive. With literally millions of hummingbirds moving north over the next three months, there will be virtually no uncovered territory searched out by hummingbirds. It's our opportunity to start developing a local population in each one of our gardens. And like I've said before, don't limit yourself to just one hummingbird feeder. Make your garden the envy of the neighborhood, and hummingbirds will make your garden the preferential one. Multiple food sources give them multiple reasons to keep returning.
The image of this adult male Ruby-throated hummingbird looks far creepier than it actually was. They spend hours in a day just preening and making themselves look handsome for the arriving females in Spring.
N.E. of Edmonton, 2016.
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