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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Numbers

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Bee Balm

Thanks to all who responded to our recent question — are Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers down this spring. About 65% of respondants thought hummingbird numbers were down, and most of those people were in the northeast quadrant of the country. (Several people from AZ reported numbers down, but they have other species of hummers there, not Rubythroats). In one case, a wild bird store owner in central Illinois indicated that 80% of her customers were reporting fewer hummers. Granted, this is not a scientific study by a long stretch. Possibly, even people who think numbers are down, are more motivated to respond than folks who think things are fine. However, it does make you wonder what is going on. Maybe we will ask the question again at the end of August, when there should be the greatest numbers of hummers around due to young hummers swelling the population.

Photo © Lillian Stokes, 2007

2 comments:

Marie Graves said...

Here in upper East Tennessee, I have more hummers than I've had in
the 16 years I've lived here. I
have always had a mama, papa, and a
baby. This year I started with one more female. I have a new neighbor who is putting out feeders, plus I have more bee balm than I've ever had. Perhaps I can
count again in August. Your blog
adds beauty to my day--thanks. Marie Graves
Johnson City TN

Leigh said...

Here in NW Arkansas, it seems the Hummer population is down at least at our house. We had a hard freeze at Easter that did a lot of damage and I wondered if it was hard on the hummingbirds. There were very few spring blooms and the hummers that arrived were very feeder-dependent it seemed. Thanks for the lovely blog!

Leigh
Larrapin Garden
www.larrapin.blogspot.com