Thursday, July 05, 2007
Hummingbird Numbers Down ???
Several people have written us recently, expressing concern that they are seeing fewer Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in their yards, despite keeping the same number of feeders and conditions, etc. as previous years. Some of these folks are located in the upper midwest.
It's hard to estimate hummingbird numbers, since you often don't know if you are seeing the same or different hummers. Their numbers can also be influenced by such factors as, how many garden and wildflowers are in bloom (in which case they may temporarily leave your feeders), do you keep your feeders clean and filled, how consistently are you looking, etc.
Based on guestimates, we think we are seeing somewhat less hummingbirds in our yard now than in previous summers. We have a few males and, right now, are seeing no females, although we saw females earlier in the spring. We will be interested to see what numbers we see in August in our yard, because that is when hummers are beginning to migrate, and we usually see numbers of males, females, and immatures.
We did some very brief looking on the internet to see if there was any information about this. There are a number of websites devoted to hummingbirds. They focus on tracking migration, banding, answering questions, conserving hummingbirds, etc. We found nothing specific about Ruby-throated hummer numbers this spring and summer, although there may be info. out there.
So our question to you is, do your think you are seeing less, more, or the same numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in your yard as in previous years? If you answer tell us what area of the country you are in. You can answer in the comment section by clicking on the "comment" link below. Or you can email us, click here.
Photos of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds © Lillian Stokes, 2007