The hummingbirds are coming! The hummingbirds are coming! As of this week, ruby-throated hummingbirds have been spotted making their way north into the Carolinas and Virginia!
There’s still a foot of snow on the ground here on our farm, so I’m guessing no hummer will even consider making their way to New England for another 3 or 4 weeks yet, when bugs are flying and sapsucker wells are flowing freely. The males usually arrive here in central MA sometime in April, scouting out good breeding habitat. Females don’t usually arrive til later in the spring, when nectar plants begin blooming and insect food is plentiful.
But if they could, I’m sure our summertime visitors would send a postcard saying “We’re on our way. Looking forward to our visit! See you soon. p.s. Get those feeders up and please plant more of that Coral Honeysuckle for us! Love, the Rubythroats”
p.s. and plan to grow some native Coral Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera sempervirens) in a sunny spot on your property this year. The hummingbirds will appreciate it, and may well decide to return to your habitat every year if they like what you have to offer!
Hardy New England Hummingbirds: It’s always hard to believe any tropical bird would consider the cold New England climate as a good place to live and breed, but our few months of warm and wonderful summery weather with a glorious variety of blooming flowers and plenty of flying insects means that many ruby-throated hummingbirds DO consider our New England “rainforest” region to be a perfect place to raise a family. At least, in the summertime. Come August and September, they’re on the way back to the tropics for the winter, and after this particularly brutal winter of 2015, I can’t say I blame them!