After having one of the coldest Octobers, November is starting to appear like Spring. I don't think any of us have the slightest clue about what's to come, including the birds. Currently we've been experiencing temperatures in the high teens, Celcius(or mid 60's F). As raindrops currently run down my windows, my curiosity leads me to the whereabouts of my hummingbirds.
Typically around this time of year most of the Ruby Throated hummingbirds have left the United States, and once again that's the case. A few stragglers are still wondering about the eastern half of the U.S. while the western half of U.S.and S.W. Canada, as always, have the luxury of year round hummingbirds. Last year we had the most rare of sightings, with a Costa's hummingbird hanging around the Edmonton area in some of the most brutal temperatures you can imagine. This year things appeared quite normal late in the season with the birds. Although October came in with winter, I'm being extremely optimistic in hoping that winter has finished while we experience record temperatures here in Alberta. In only four short months the Canada geese will start appearing in my neck of the woods, while just a few days ago there were literally thousands of geese spread all over central Alberta, with no sign of leaving.
While the Americas were the only continents blessed with hummingbirds, it's one that every birder of these continents couldn't do without. And now I'm counting the days, planning new ideas, and wishing the snow away until their return.
Here's my Ziggy. He gave me several different poses last Spring, while I soaked up the images. He's a charming little guy, but even puts the fear in me with some of his different looks. He knew me well enough to stick close by, but never forgot the purpose at hand. This was a springtime shot where he displayed his full mating plumage. It's the time of year when all birds have the most beautiful colours for the purpose of attracting a mate. Every glistening olive body feather, and every radiantly glowing gorget feather is at its peak condition for attracting the light to enable them to put on a show and gain the attention of every curious female.
I'm so hopeful of his return in Spring, but if not, I'm sure one of his many offspring will be willing to take over the reins.
Adult Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Named Ziggy), May of 2016 in the Edmonton region of Alberta.
Tip: To attract these beautiful birds in Spring, hummingbird feeders are an absolute must. They provide the greatest amount of food, without having them expend the energy to gain it.
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