Date: 8/31/17 11:06 am From: Paul Griffin <pgriffin1...> Subject: Hummingbirds, Oak Park Wichita
It has been a slow year for Hummingbirds in Oak Park, here in Wichita. Similar to last year. This is my 12th year, with no breaks. I have noticed that in the dry years, more hummingbirds are in Oak Park looking for food. This year is a wet year as was last year. This year I only had 6 feeders out, normally I would have twice as many. Note: I determine the amount of feeders by how quickly the sugar water disappears. If I come in the next morning and the feeders are empty, I add feeders until that doesn’t happen. I have found that if a hummingbird finds the feeder empty, they move on and don’t come back. August is always the month for the passing through of the most migrant hummingbirds heading South for the winter. Early September will have some, but in the last week I have seen a significant drop off of hummers coming to the feeders and I’m going to be removing some of the feeders soon. Yesterday, there were about 5. Looking back it seems the hummers peaked around the 10th of August which is earlier than normal. At the peak I estimate there were between 10 to 15 hummingbirds using the feeders in Oak Park. Most of you will think that is a lot of hummingbirds, but Oak Park normally has twice as many as that. This year I have seen Calliope and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds more than normal and I have some video of them. Last year I got nice video and pictures of both Calliope and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, over the years I have gotten used to their special features and I can find them easier every year.
There is another aspect to my hummingbird watching in Oak Park and that is the hummingbird nesting that takes place. Last year in the summer, there were about 10 different female Ruby-throated hummingbirds coming to my control feeder in Oak Park. That means there were probably that many nests in the immediate area of the feeder. The foliage was so thick last year I wasn’t able to find any of the nests. This year there were about half as many female Ruby-throated hummingbirds coming to the feeder, which a significant drop from last year, I don’t know why that has happened. But, this year I was able to find a nest and the adult female Ruby-throated female was one of the birds that was using my feeder about 200 feet from the nest. I was able to document the nest, although it was about 30 feet up. In time the fledglings got bigger and bigger and happily eventually fledged. Within a couple of days, I noted the newly fledged nestlings were using the feeder, probably because their mother led them to it. Eventually, they melted into the hummingbird population and I lost track of them. That happened in June.
Next in Oak Park, Warblers. After watching Hummingbirds all summer, it is interesting to notice that warblers are much bigger than hummingbirds. In the spring, when the warblers first show up, they are much smaller than the birds we have been watching all winter. Finally, the city got the Eastern pump fixed in Oak Park, about a month ago, so the NE brook will be a good place to see warblers. Although, last spring was the worst warbler showing I’ve experienced in Oak Park. Hopefully, this fall will be better.