Why have my mother's hummingbirds disappeared?

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Gunnar Knapp

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Sep 22, 2022, 5:32:05 PMSep 22
to Maryland & DC Birding
Hi folks:

I live in Alaska, but come for frequent extended visits to help out my mother at her home in Germantown, Maryland near Butler's Orchard.  She has a lot of bird feeders and we spend a lot of time watching the birds (and a lot of $ on sunflower seed, peanuts and suet . . . ), and derive a lot of enjoyment from it.  She follows this conversation and enjoys the daily summaries, so I began to subscribe as well.

She has three hummingbird feeders and at the peak of the summer all the feeders had frequent hummingbird visits.  She says that she remembers seeing four at or around one feeder at one time.

At least a week ago, my mother started complaining that the hummingbirds had all suddenly vanished from her feeders. She wants to know why they vanished.  She says it seems too early for them to have left for the season.  

I know nothing about this, but am curious, and amazed at the level of expertise on this list serve.  So I thought I'd ask:  what might be reasons why all the hummingbirds have stopped coming to her feeders?  When do they arrive and leave?  How can I best learn more about hummingbird migration and about hummingbirds in general?

Thanks,

Gunnar Knapp


JAMES SPEICHER

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Sep 22, 2022, 5:55:40 PMSep 22
to Gunnar Knapp, Maryland & DC Birding
They are about due to be gone from the area. I still have some - two at least visiting today. All the adult males should be gone. One of my two remaining is a juve male. Today's frontal passage might move most of the remaining hummingbirds on South.

Jim S
FREDCO

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Marcia Watson

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Sep 22, 2022, 6:53:41 PMSep 22
to Gunnar Knapp, Maryland & DC Birding

Gunnar,

 

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has produced a nifty set of animated migration maps that cover a number of bird species. To see the map for Ruby-throated Hummingbird, go to https://science.ebird.org/en/status-and-trends/species/rthhum/abundance-map-weekly?regionCode=USA-MD&static=true&week=5. Once there, look in the sidebar on the right, under the header “Abundance.” Look down below the colored bar for Weekly Abundance and below the bar for Weeks of the Year. You’ll see a small right arrow in a blue box – that’s a video “play” button. (circld in red on attached screenshot). Click the play button to see the animated migration map – the colors indicate relative abundance. You’ll see birds flow into Maryland from the south in the spring and flow back out to the south in the fall. The bar in the Weeks of the Year will show the timing as the animation moves. Or you can click through one week at a time by changing the date in the box to the right of the video “play” arrow. In the screenshot, the date is showing as 1 Feb.

 

Enjoy!

 

Marcia

_____________

Marcia Watson

Bowie, MD

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Kurt Schwarz

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Sep 22, 2022, 7:56:49 PMSep 22
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The hummingbirds routinely leave in September, usually by mid-month.

Kurt Schwarz 
Howard County

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Kurt Schwarz
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Steve Long

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Sep 22, 2022, 8:29:46 PMSep 22
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Looking at the abundance graphic site that Marcia posted, it seems that the Hummers should still be around, and (some of) mine are.  The graphic seems to say that mine will leave here in about a week, and leave the Western Shore area (of Maryland) a bit later than here on the Eastern Shore.

So, Gunnar's mother's feeders would be predicted to still be getting Hummer business for a bit longer.  Why the Hummers have vacated her area now might seem like a good question when looking at the statistics like that.  But, I doubt that things are that predictable.  Some Hummers leave early, some late, and only they know why they do what they do.

If her feeders have been up consistently for several years, the Hummers coming through from north of here may be remembering them and will stop there to get another sip before heading further south.  So, she may be seeing a different population of Hummers, instead of the same individuals, at this time of year.

Steve Long

Marcia Watson

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Sep 22, 2022, 9:31:01 PMSep 22
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I still have one or two immatures or females coming in to feed. I’m in Prince George’s County. 

Marcia
------------- 
Marcia Watson
Bowie, Maryland


On Sep 22, 2022, at 8:29 PM, Steve Long <steve...@atlanticbb.net> wrote:



JAMES SPEICHER

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Sep 22, 2022, 10:21:36 PMSep 22
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Forgot to reply all...

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: JAMES SPEICHER <jugor...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 22, 2022, 10:12 PM
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Why have my mother's hummingbirds disappeared?
To: Steve Long <steve...@atlanticbb.net>


On 1 Aug near Waynesboro PA, I found a ruby-throat feeding on  Pale Touch-me-not, aka Yellow Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida). This past Saturday I happened upon two instances of hummingbirds feeding on either this same plant or a close cousin in Washington county.

So being close to Butler's and the MONTCO AG Reserve, it's likely that there may have been & continues to be an abundance of this nectar source to distract them from feeders.

Jim S 

Hugh David Fleischmann

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Sep 22, 2022, 10:24:51 PMSep 22
to JAMES SPEICHER, mdbirding
My regulars, about 4-5 individuals, have been gone for about a week, in Owings Mills, Baltimore County. 

Steller Birding in 2022!

H. David Fleischmann 

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 22, 2022, at 10:21 PM, JAMES SPEICHER <jugor...@gmail.com> wrote:



Phil Davis

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Sep 23, 2022, 1:17:03 AMSep 23
to MDbirding
I may be over simplifying this, but I think it's all basically related to the cold fronts, as Jim implies.

Resident males typically depart our area on the first cold front around the end of August. Then the females/immatures leave with the later cold fronts, typically in early/mid September.

Migrant birds from up north will continue to pass through, southbound, during September and the numbers you see may (?) related to how many feeders you have and how early in the spring you put them up, since hummingbirds have good memories for feeding stations. So, if adults tanked up at your place on their way further north in the early spring, you may see them again at your feeders on their way south in the fall.

Phil



At 17:55 09/22/2022, JAMES SPEICHER wrote:
They are about due to be gone from the area. I still have some - two at least visiting today. All the adult males should be gone. One of my two remaining is a juve male. Today's frontal passage might move most of the remaining hummingbirds on South.

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022, 5:32 PM Gunnar Knapp <gunnar...@gmail.com > wrote:
(snip)

At least a week ago, my mother started complaining that the hummingbirds had all suddenly vanished from her feeders. She wants to know why they vanished.  She says it seems too early for them to have left for the season.

I know nothing about this, but am curious, and amazed at the level of expertise on this list serve.  So I thought I'd ask:  what might be reasons why all the hummingbirds have stopped coming to her feeders?  When do they arrive and leave?  How can I best learn more about hummingbird migration and about hummingbirds in general?

==================================
Phil Davis      Davidsonville, Maryland
                  pda...@ix.netcom.com
==================================

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