Guess whose coming to dinner? They are here!!! Ruby Throated hummingbirds migrate from Mexico all the way up to Canada. Quite a long trek for these delightful little birds. If we are lucky, they will be present in our gardens at some time during the year.
This is a link to the map of the 2012 migration sightings.
What is interesting to note is that they started their journey earlier this year and seem to be a couple weeks ahead of their first sightings of years past. Previous years migrations are also housed on this site.
So get out your hummingbird feeders as these travelers are hungry and welcome a station that they can refuel. Perhaps they might stay for an extended period and even take up nesting in the area.
There are a variety of feeders to use. The general formula for their sugar water is 1/4 C of sugar to 1 c of water. Warm the water so the sugar melts and then allow to cool to room temperature. Do NOT put in any red food coloring, it can be harmful to the birds. On the east coast, Ruby throated hummingbirds are the only species we see. The west coast has a much wider variety.
Bold colors will attract the hummingbirds to your garden too. Salvia and impatiens work well as annuals to attract them. In addition, many other trumpet shaped flowers such as honeysuckle, liatris, beebalm, agastache, cardinal flower, trumpet vine, butterfly bush, and columbine all will attract hummingbirds as their flowers produce an abundance of nectar. Hummingbirds also eat small insects too, a valuable and necessary source of protein. When the newly hatched hummingbirds are still in their nest, the parents are feeding them insects to build strength. You may see a dwindling of visits to your feeder at this time as they are constantly tending to their young.
Enjoy these delightful visitors to your gardens. We are interested to hear from you if in fact you do have them in your yard.