My Ruby-throated Hummingbird Numbers Are Increasing

By | July 29, 2016

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers are increasing here at my feeders. I made a couple of post a few weeks ago saying that I wasn’t seeing as many Hummingbirds as I usually do. (2016 Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2016))

Several of you told me that my numbers may increase as these birds start migrating south. It is a little early for migration here in my area, so I’m not sure why I have a few more now. I only had 3 or 4 during the early summer and now I am seeing 6 or 7.

I read that there are differing views in the birding community as to what triggers the start of migration, it is generally thought that hummingbirds sense changes in daylight duration, and changes in the abundance of flowers, nectar and insects. Instinct also plays a role in making the decision to migrate.

I am glad to see more than the 3 that I was seeing the past few months. Maybe I will even see more this next month. I know I live in the National Forest and may not see the numbers that I have seen in other parts of the state.

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird  At My Feeder

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Canon 7D2 | Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L v2 Lens | @400mm | 1/1250 | f/5.6 | ISO 500

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Facts

A hummingbird’s ability to hover is due to its small mass, high wingbeat frequency and relatively large margin of mass-specific power available for flight. Several anatomical features contribute further, including proportionally massive major flight muscles (pectoralis major and supracoracoideus) and wing anatomy that enables the bird to leave its wings extended yet turned over (supine) during the upstroke. This generates lift that supports body weight and maneuvering.

Hummingbirds achieve ability to support their weight and hover from wing beats creating lift on the downstroke of a wing flap and also on the upstroke in a ratio of 75%:25%, respectively, similarly to an insect. Hummingbirds and insects gain lift during hovering partially through inversion of their cambered wings during an upstroke. During hovering, hummingbird wings beat up to 80 times per second. (Wikipedia)

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

4 thoughts on “My Ruby-throated Hummingbird Numbers Are Increasing

  1. Greg Topp

    Good Morning!
    Steve, I’m really glad you posted on your Hummingbirds! I wanted to write and tell you that I am seeing a literal swarm of these birds at one of my five feeders as of about 2 days ago. I’m talking hundreds of birds–no exaggeration! The feeder that is seeing this rush has a capacity of 16 ounces, and I refilled it 3 times yesterday! My other feeders have more than usual usage also, but not like this one. I have a theory… My birds usually stay well into August and then leave. The weather up here in NW Wisconsin has been so lousy this summer with the heat and heavy, constant rain almost daily, that I think the birds are either giving up and heading out early or are stopping at my place for a longer “fattening up” period. Somehow I think my place must have something these birds like, to come here so heavily each year. Others in the city of Hayward (14 miles west of my place), also feed them, but their numbers are normal. It’s a shame that not more is known about these birds. The 40 foot Spruce tree outside my kitchen window was literally “humming” all day yesterday! I miss these birds when they go!

    1. Steve Creek Post author

      Wow! Greg! I wish it was like that here at my place. I think location is key. Not much open areas near me. I am surrounded by forest. Not that I am complaining.

  2. Valerie

    Here in northeast Texas our garden is hosting an above average number of hummers for the end of July.

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