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Old 09-25-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Default Hummingbirds are now leaving

Why do a few of the Hummingbirds stay longer in the fall while the majority migrant? What triggers the migration for them?
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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The experts say that it's the shortening length of sunlight in the fall that triggers them to head south. Now, the older ones probably have the migratory pattern also imprinted in their memories, which helps them navigate better. Even the current year's new hummers would have instincts that can help them get where they are supposed to go. I'm not sure about the other...there are some species that have more tolerance for cold...maybe that is why they migrate a bit later.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:51 PM   #3
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hummer Hummingbird Migration

Thanks ButterflyLinda. I think it is probably day length that triggers the migratory instinct of hummingbirds. I can actually feel it too. I wonder what we as human beings are in tune to that we block out by our intellectual daily living. Maybe we are missing much of what was given to us as a species by our fast track lifestyle. The cyclic rhythm of the universe is recognized by, it seems, all animals but what happened to ours?
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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My little hummer family packed up and left. Very sad! Now I can only watch for the ones migrating from elsewhere and just passing through! I refilled the feeder today and had to remove 4 yellowjackets...two drowned and two were dead when I was through with them. I've been trying to get rid of the nest organically since they're not friendly neighbors!
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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ButterflyLinda> Bummer.... it means winter is around the corner when the hummers leave. I don't have many but when they go... I'm always pretty sad about it. Those hummers are too darn cute. ionexchange> it's like ButterflyLinda said.... it's the reduced photoperiod triggering migration, HGIC - Timely Tips: Wildlife, "Hummingbirds migrate in response to changes in day length and other environmental cues. Leave your hummingbird feeders up to make food available for late migrants." I don't have a link for you but I was told the hummers that stay behind are the ones that don't have enough stored fat to make it. I bump up the sugar in my feeders by 1 C while they're migrating and make sure to take em down after the majority pass through so I'm not encouraging any to stick around.
adding links, http://ezinearticles.com/?Getting-Re...f-2&id=1932520 and http://www.suite101.com/content/bird...migrate-a67539, "Before a bird can migrate, it must be physically ready. In both spring and fall, birds put on weight, storing fat in the body cavity and beneath the skin. Many molt, replacing flight feathers so that their feathers are in peak condition for extended flight. And they build flight muscles for strength and endurance."
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Last edited by Equilibrium; 10-01-2010 at 11:12 PM. Reason: adding links for ion
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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I've been keenly watching the hummingbirds for a week or so now. I'm so used to having them about I forget to check to see if there are fewer. I filled the three feeders for migrants and any lingerers but they seem more interested in the salvias. I have noticed in the last couple of days that I only see young males at the feeders. As long as I keep seeing them I'll keep up with the feeders.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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I haven't seen any hummers in more than a week, perhaps two, and I've been looking for them. I'm not sure why they'd leave Chapel Hill before Kentucky, since we are approximately at the same latitude. I miss getting dive bombed when I go out by my lobelia.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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I still have a couple of young hummingbirds, at least one male and one female still hanging around, at least as of yesterday. I haven't seen them yet this morning but they could still be around. Sometimes in these chilly mornings they wait to go to the feeders. By evening they are pretty active. I'll be looking out for the last holdout!
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #9
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Just saw the female at the feeder. She looks pretty small. I hope she'll make it.

turttle, maybe they go west before they go south??? Either that or I just have a couple that were born late in the season and aren't ready to go just yet.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #10
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Well, I think it's official. I haven't seen the hummingbirds for two days now. I was beginning to worry that they wouldn't leave at all! Hope they have a safe journey.

See you next year!
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autumn, bird, birds, depart, feeder, feeders, fly south, hummer, hummers, hummingbird, hummingbird feeder, hummingbird feeders, hummingbird migration, hummingbirds, leave, leaving, migrate, migrating, migrating birds, migration

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