With the warm temperatures outside it may not feel like fall is approaching, but many birds are already beginning their fall migration. In my last post, I wrote about how many species of warblers have already started to migrate, and today I’ll focus on the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that are frequenting many people’s hummingbird feeders now. I’ve heard from quite a few folks that have with hummingbird feeders that the number of hummingbirds around has increased substantially, and I’ve noticed at my house, too. Hummingbirds are right on schedule migration-wise, and late August is when we typically begin to see more and more hummingbirds in central Indiana. (Keep in mind that the timing will be different depending upon where you live.)
It’s hard to imagine that this tiny hummingbird is already on its way to complete what I consider to be a pretty incredible migration. Most of these hummingbirds will migrate down to the Gulf Coast and then are faced with a choice – fly over the Gulf of Mexico or go around it. In the spring when the birds are in a hurry to get north to their breeding grounds, a huge number of hummingbirds choose to fly over this enormous body of water, but during fall migration when they aren’t in such a hurry, some individuals choose to take the long way. It might take a bit longer, but it’s a much safer option than flying over open water.
Be sure to enjoy all the hummingbirds over the next month or so and also let us know how many have been visiting your feeders!