Date: 7/12/20 5:00 pm
From: 'Penny S.' via Birders <birders...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Fewer hummers and butterflies for anyone else? A bit OT...
My perennials are just beginning to flower so I don't see a lot of
hummigbirds on them, but I do see  a few females and occasional male on
my feeder.  I think the weather as its been is a problem for everything
to adapt to, including bees

Penny

On 7/12/2020 10:22 AM, Allen Chartier wrote:
> Hummingbird fans,
>
> My only comment on this is that it seems to fit an annual pattern that
> I have been addressing and noticing for years that is best explained
> by the annual nesting cycle of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
>
> During the last week of June and first week of July, they are often
> fledgling their first brood of young, which can result in the females
> being much more occupied with finding insects for their large
> youngsters and not visiting feeders very often. They do not
> intentionally feed nectar to their nestlings as far as we know, as
> they really don't have the physical adaptations to do so. So observers
> quite often report a decrease in activity at this time. This year,
> they may have gotten a later start than normal...remember the snow
> that some of us had on May 8!!! Second nests, if they have a
> successful first nesting, will either be the first nest re-used, or if
> that nest is too damaged, another nest will be constructed nearby. In
> the deep south, female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are documented to be
> triple-brooded through their breeding season, and have been observed
> constructing a second nest while they are still feeding well-grown
> young in their first nest. So, if they overlap like this in Michigan
> too, this transition time can be VERY busy for them. Once incubation
> of their second nest begins, they may have more time to visit feeders
> again.
>
> What about the males? Well, they defend feeding territories and do not
> "pair" with females, but will mate with as many females as they can.
> If females are not visiting feeders, the males seem to lose interest
> somewhat, and also at this time of year there are many more natural
> sources of nectar available for them.
>
> And finally, there are definitely variations in numbers from year to
> year on a local level, but overall my studies have suggested that
> overall populations are stable. So, declines at one set of feeders is
> very likely to be offset by increases at another.. And our greatest
> numbers are always during August and into early September, when the
> fledglings find their way to the feeders, and the adults are finishing
> nesting for the season.
>
> Allen T. Chartier
> Inkster, Michigan
> Email: <amazilia3...> <mailto:<amazilia3...>
> Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mihummingbirdguy/collections/
> Website/Blog: http://mihummingbirdguy.blogspot.com/
>
>
>
> On Sat, Jul 11, 2020 at 7:24 PM WayneF <waynef...>
> <mailto:<waynef...>> wrote:
>
> We see one male and one female hummer regularly, but this year we
> haven’t seen more than one of each. Other years we have.
>
> They mostly come to feeders, but we have a few each of quite a
> variety of flowers.
>
> Wayne
>
>> On Jul 11, 2020, at 5:18 PM, Lisa Lava-Kellar <lisalk...>
>> <mailto:<lisalk...>> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> Hi, Birders,
>>
>> I am observing a dearth of native butterflies and hummingbirds
>> this year.
>>
>> Not all of my plants are native, but many are. In the past (about
>> 20 years or so), hummingbirds have flocked to the Monarda.  This
>> year, there are lots of solitary bees, but no hummers that I've
>> observed.  Same with the hummingbird feeders I have out (3) with
>> sugar water.  The only place I've seen a hummer is at the annual
>> salvia ("Hot Lips") in the shade.  The one in the sun has had
>> zero--that I've seen, anyway.  Should I move it to a shadier
>> spot? The other five in front and back yards are native perennial
>> salvias.  No hummers have been at any of them.  Same with the
>> annual Nicotiana.  Perhaps I just haven't been around when the
>> hummers visit.
>>
>> Also, in past years, black swallowtails, tiger swallowtails,
>> monarchs and perhaps six other species of native butterflies have
>> visited the plants in my yard.  If anything, I've added to their
>> menu this year.  That said, I also added mulch.  Could that be
>> it?  Could it be the True Green spray my neighbors on the corner
>> used (whose yard does not intersect mine, really, except a bit in
>> front) might be interfering?
>>
>> I am so puzzled this year!  Hope that you might have some
>> thoughts.  I welcome them.
>> Thanks,
>> Lisa
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