It is mid August and our hummingbirds are getting fat. This clearly indicates they will be migrating very soon.
This year’s hummingbird season has been subdued but still filled with joy, as we watched our small yet healthy group of miniature birds take full advantage of the resources available at Sontheim. Consequently our resident hummers produced as many babies as was possible in one breeding season. Much to our delight we were able to watch two full sets of fluffy hummingbird babies learn to drink from the feeders in front of the house.
The first hummer fledglings showed up in June, while the second set started appearing in mid July. Here is a good example of how much bigger than the parents these babies look:
In spite of the extreme summer weather here at Sontheim, our hummers did very well. I only had to bury one unfortunate female who ran full speed into a screen. For the life of me I can not figure out how she had come in contact with this screened area which is well hidden under the porch. But hummers are inquisitive and unbelievably reckless in their exuberance, and sadly sometimes it leads to an early death.
As I freed the tiny bird from its trap and held it in the palm of my hand I marveled at the incredibly beauty of this flying jewel. Alas she had died before I found her and all I could do was to wrap her gently in a soft cloth and bury her in our hummingbird flower bed.
For two weeks now the nectar production is running at full capacity to accommodate our hummers’ need for energy. As a result our flying jewels are getting visibly bigger and soon the majority will reach their ideal migration weight.
By the end of August, most of our precious hummers will be on their way to the Gulf of Mexico. There they will stop to refuel for their 17 hour non-stop flight across the ocean. With luck some of them will reach South America and hopefully find a safe haven where they can spent our winter.