This is a topic I've touched on in the past, but wanted to elaborate on it. This is a way you'll learn the habits, behaviors, times, and so much more about your hummingbirds. Eventually the information will become ingrained in your thinking, that you'll not have to refer to past years to know these statistics. What am I talking about? Creating a journal.
Create a journal as simple or as complex as you want, but track this information daily. Trust me, you'll find your information valuable from year to year. This will teach you a lot about their behavior, migration, feeding, interaction, and arrival habits.
So, what information should we track that's useful. Here's my short list, but if you find certain information useful that I'm missing, then add it to your journal.
Date, peak sightings(per minute, hour, or day, (whichever suits your situation)), # of feeders hanging, # of males, # of females, # of Juveniles, weather conditions, and a blank area for any additional information for that day. e.g. rare Rufous, or first young of the season. Also, include that you weren't around on certain days to track.
In following years you'll be able to compare one date to another, know how many feeders were suitable for that time of year, how many males, females, or young were sighted and when they peak for the year, what type of weather initiated such a slow or busy day, and other random events that occurred on that specific day.
I promise, you will be glad you kept notes, and you will learn an incredible amount when you compare every year on a certain date. Eventually you'll become more aware than you ever were about information extremely valuable in understanding your hummingbirds.
The two images are 2 of 3 current males showing up. Ziggy, at the Salvia plant, has the run of everything in the yard, but the other males just can't resist, even though they know they're going to pay the price from Ziggy. From the data collected in previous years, I can expect between 6 and 15 adult males to show up and stick around for a few or several days before heading South.
July 20, 2019. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Adult male Ruby-throat hummingbirds.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.