Sunday, April 13, 2008

Finally a first hummingbird!

We've been waiting to see our first ruby-throated hummingbird of the season. They start appearing in our area between late March and early April; this map from Hilton Pond's site shows average times of first sightings here in the Eastern U.S. The first male 'scouts' were reported almost a month ago, and my feeders have been up since then.

So, I was delighted to see a hummingbird visiting Carolina jessamine flowers outside my study window yesterday afternoon.

He didn't stay long at them, visiting just a couple; we have coral honeysuckle and red buckeyes currently in flower that are a lot more to their taste, and later I saw him visiting the large coral honeysuckle near the kitchen door. We saw him again this morning and afternoon, visiting flowers and snapping up insects in the red oak.

No sign of any visiting the feeders yet, but I've got three ready and waiting.

I'm hoping one of 'our' males might return to our garden, to stay and set up his territory. There definitely was a family here last year. We have seemingly great habitat for hummingbirds; lots of hummingbird nectar flowers throughout the season, native trees full of small insects to glean, and plenty of cover for nesting.


  1. i read somewhere that flowers with vivid colors such as red, tend to have more bees and birds.

    Silverdale florist

  2. My parents get a lot of hummingbirds (they live just down the street from us). They can be a bit unnerving because they have a tendency to buzz past your head, looking very much like a bee on steriods. We're planting some scarlet runner beans (for flowers and food) and last year I put in a honeysuckle vine.

  3. Arlene,
    Thanks for commenting! (Ruby-throated) hummingbirds and hummingbirds in general ARE attracted to color, with red being a favorite, but certainly they visit nectar-rich flowers of other colors. Bees are attracted by fragrances, flowers with nectar and/or pollen, and masses of color, so sometimes like to visit the same flowers as hummingbirds.

    Geez, I sound like the educator that I am...

    What fun to have lots of hummingbirds buzzing around. I think you have different (and more) species than our ruby-throats here in eastern NA, but yours are equally enchanting.


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