Date: 7/12/20 8:18 pm
From: Patrick Baize <pkbaize...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Fewer hummers and butterflies for anyone else? A bit OT...

I was ay my daughters today they have 5 plus acres that are natural growth with pathways through there we saw many monarchs, and a couple of both Tiger and Black Swallowtails plus many other species of butterflies and moths.
Pat B. Howell, Michigan

On Sunday, July 12, 2020, 08:00:45 PM EDT, 'Penny S.' via Birders <birders...> wrote:


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...> 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...> 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...> 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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