Now that the autumn is officially here, daylight hours have begun to dwindle – which sends an innate message to birds and other wildlife as well. Even though temperatures are still on the warm side, (at least here in the south) hummingbirds know it’s time to leave for their winter breeding grounds, nature has hard-wired this instinct as a matter of survival.
Leaving your hummingbird feeders up, fresh and full will greatly help the little sprites on their long journey back to Central and South America. You see, hummingbirds need to double their body weight before their migration can begin, and it’s been a tough season for them here this year. Severe drought in the South, along with Hurricane Irene in the Northeast, has greatly reduced (if not wiped out) the nectar-producing flowers they depend upon for food.
Here in our GA backyard, hummer activity has been a constant buzz over the last two weeks and is just starting to ease up. There are still around 10-15 birds seen around our feeders daily. Extra hummingbird feeders were placed around the property and definitely put to good use! Stragglers from the north who are still heading south find the place a great stop-over, an oasis to re-fuel before heading on their way!
One other interesting fact: hummingbirds practice “site fidelity” which means if they find your yard inviting (food, water, and shelter) they’ll be back next year to grace your place!