Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fading Hum

Summer is quickly fading, as are the visits from the hummingbirds. Many hummingbirds migrate vast distances seasonally, and it appears they have moved on from their summer nesting grounds in Utah, or at least from this backyard. The nectar feeder has hung alone for more than a week without any discernible visits, and in just a few more days it will be time to take it down, clean it, and store it for winter.

Many hummingbird species are migratory through Utah, often more heavily so in the late summer than in the spring since they generally head north along the coast and then return south along the mountain ranges. This year we had a great number of hummingbirds, though fewer of the territorial roufous hummingbirds than last year. Particularly through the month of August they were feeding frequently, perhaps steeling themselves against their long flight to come.

The feeder will remain out for a few more days, perhaps until the end of the month, in case a late straggler is in need of a drink. Then away until the first sign of spring, when it will return to its hook from the rear gutter, ready to welcome the first humming arrivals. May their journeys be swift and safe, in all seasons.

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