Skip to comments.Study: Hummingbirds migrating earlier in spring
Posted on 02/17/2013 11:32:55 AM PST by Olog-hai
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are migrating to North America weeks earlier than in decades past, and research indicates that higher temperatures in their winter habitat may be the reason.
Researchers say the early arrival could mean less food at nesting time for the tiny birds that feed on insect pests, help pollinate flowers and are popular with birdwatchers.
Jason Courtier of Taylor University said the historical data on hummingbirds is based on government surveys from about 3,000 naturalists around the country who recorded the first spring arrival time of bird species over the decades. About 6 million such records exist and are being scanned into computer databases by the North American Bird Phenology Program.
The research compared the historical documents with about 30,000 recent records on hummingbird arrivals. Scientists say the earlier arrival times could be problematic for hummingbirds, of which there are an estimated 7 million.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
I think this whole thing is for the birds...
I’ve noticed it but it depends on the season that year. It’s not consistent.
I live just north of Charleston, SC. I usually see them in late March-early April. I fill my feeders early so that I know that they have arrived.
They are fun to watch around the feeders. They use their beaks as fencing swords if they don’t feel like sharing the nectar from a particular feeder. They will feed and then fly to a high branch in a tree, wait for another one to come along then fly down and defend the feeder. A window feeder is essential.
This is essentially anecdotal evidence. My bet is that there are lot more people logging observations than there were in the past, yet the old observations and the new observations are weighted the same.
Or maybe it is the scientists who deserve the dunce cap for speculating from too little information. The birds are adapting to variation in the pattern of seasons. Likely some always overshoot to try to be the first to grab the best spots for the summer.
Tempertures don’t have a dang thing to do with it. Hummingbirds are just like everyone else. They have to cut their vacations short due to running out of money. It’s the economy.
Mine too. It’s sometimes amusing to see them fight over a feeder.
What beautiful pics. Did you take them?
Beautiful pictures!! I live in SE Texas so will be putting out my feeders at the end of March, I think.
Sometimes we have so many it looks like a swarm of bees- at lease 50+ at a time. I have three feeders and make my own hummingbird foodt - 4 parts of water to one part of sugar, bring to a boil for a couple of minutes and let cool. I go through about 5 lbs of sugar a week in late spring and taper down starting in September through the middle of October.
Yeah...cuz it doesn't get any warmer for the bugs. Asshats. We have species that winter over(Oregon Coast) and do just fine on insects in the winter. The hummers are starting to pick through the spider webs on the windows...nesting materials, and guess what...spiders and their prey.
It's always almost to the day the same; April 22 in the Spring; leave Sept 22 in the fall.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak female
Love the pics, we have many eagles and hawks around but they do not want to pose for a pic.
The supposition that "climate change" drives alterations in these instinctive patterns makes no scientific sense. Political sense yes--students of bird behavior need grant money too you know. Might as well get on the bandwagon.
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