Tag Archives: ruby-throated hummingbird

They’re Back

…Time For Us To Play Host Again

Most of the birds that migrate south during winter have come back. The Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) came back before everyone else. They swooped around looking for their old houses that I had removed for the winter. They checked out the Bluebirds nest box and were chased off by the occupants.  As soon as I put the box back up where it was used by them last year, they took ownership with in minutes.  Another pair took one nest box in the front but was harassed relentlessly by the House sparrows.  I hope that it doesn’t deter the Swallows from staying with us.

A Tree Swallow sunbathing
A Tree Swallow sunbathing
A couple resting in front of their nest box
A couple resting in front of their nest box

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) also came back to the feeder.  I have seen just the males, no females in sight yet.  Chipping Sparrows (Spizella passerine), Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) are back as well.  The Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) settled for the suet as many of the fruit trees around here haven’t blossom yet.

A male Baltimore Oriole at the suet
A male Baltimore Oriole at the suet
A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak packing up on seeds
A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak packing up on seeds
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird defending his feeder
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird defending his feeder
Male Yellow Warbler looking for insects in rose bush
Male Yellow Warbler looking for insects in rose bush

I haven’t seen the White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) yet this year.  But the spring is still young and very cold.  Hopefully they’ll filter in with the warmth.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Friendly Little Ladies

Our Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) population has increased this year.  I think they are programmed to come back here since we provide so much food for them.  I mentioned on a previous blog that I grow Columbine for Hummingbirds and the variety of columbine has increased as well.  I had added Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans), Bee balm (Monarda didyma), and Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) to other plants I grow before I realized there are hummingbirds in this area.  Butterfly bush (Buddleia daviddi) and a variety of Phlox (both woodland and garden) that I grow for their fragrance and the butterflies also help to draw the birds in.

I put  the hummingbird feeders out as soon as the columbine started to bloom.  I have to put them far apart since the birds are very possessive about their feeder.  Even after they’re done with the sugar water, they still keep their eyes on the juice and chase the interlopers out.  For the first time this year I’ve seen two of them drink from the same feeder.  I’m envious when I see photographs of many hummingbirds feeding from the same feeder or feeding from a person’s hands.  I guess they put up with one another when they migrate and take what they can before taking off to their final destination.  Northeastern US is their breeding ground, so they get very territorial.

They are also friendly enough to let me get close this year, only the females though.  The males are still elusive.  I hope I can get some photos of the males before they migrate back down south.

Landing
Mid-air stall with little tongue sticking out.
Enjoying homemade sugar syrup.