The Ruby throats are well on their way, some that have made this journey several times before, and some trying to remember the path from last autumn when they attempted their first journey South. Every bird now moving North is considered a mature bird and able to breed. Most of us are hoping to see familiar friends from previous years, but the youngest generation of hummingbirds have yet to experience what life has to offer on their first ever journey North. Those first timers are now considered adults, and will have battles ahead of them. The females will have different types of battles, as less competition is required for them. They just need to learn the ins and outs of nesting, in choosing the right location, and how to build a nest that's structurally sound enough to endure the winds and storms, and defend their precious young. The young males will compete for territory that looks enticing. Some will win and some will be forced to look elsewhere. The mature birds are likely to return to a location that previously provided success, while the newest generation are looking for reasons to find a new home for Summer, and Summers to follow. This is where we come into play. All hummingbirds know what feeders are this time of year. They understand that they're an endless source of nectar. Flowers, especially their favorites, will always trigger their instincts and keep them returning time and again. It's absolutely necessary to have feeders up in Spring though, and always necessary to have flowers for when the young arrive after leaving the nest. Flowers always attract the Young, and keep them around until they can figure out the feeders. Feeders provide a source of food that is never ending. If storms hit, if snow falls and does damage to the flowers, feeders will always remain constant. They learn, like every living thing, when food is available, you take advantage of it. Food is survival, and if we give them every option imaginable, you'll give them absolutely no reason to go elsewhere. Provide several feeders, clusters of flowers, water sources, and simply sit back and wait for the surprises of Spring.
This is a young Ruby throat from last August. It loved the Vermillionaire, but the evidence all over its chin let us know that it was making good use of the Nasturtiums.