The Hummingbird Messenger
from the Hummingbird Society
April 1, 2021

Web-based version of our e-newsletter

Ruby-throats Returning!
Ruby-throated Hummingbird male
Photo © Bud Hensley

If you live in the eastern half of the U S (or almost anywhere in Canada except B. C. ) you're no doubt been anxiously awaiting the dependable return of the Ruby throated hummingbirds. Members are asking: "Is it too soon to put out my feeder?"

The male Ruby-throats arrive first to check out the territory, then the females, and then amazingly the young come next all on their own. It is fun to check the spring migration map of the Ruby-throats as it charts their arrival as they fly North.

Click here for the map.  Note: If you use the scroller on your mouse to enlarge the map. it will help to pinpoint your area.

The hummingbirds have a knowledge of where they found each food source on their way. There is a special term for it, called 'site fidelity'. Many of us will relate to that in terms of our own lives, where there are places we love that we are faithful to. One spring in Maryland, I wasn't expecting their arrival so soon, and a male came right up to the exact spot where we hung the feeder the year before. I apologized, asked him to wait a minute and made a fast trip to hang our feeder!

Good and new: An amazing Hummingbird Happening

 In January the phone rang here in Sedona and a very excited man wanted to share a hummingbird experience he had just witnessed. He said it had changed his life! I was all ears! I will tell you the story as he told it to me.
    "I love the hummers and I have several feeders out. One is in front of a very large window. This morning I suddenly heard a thud, and I thought 'Oh, no!' and I feared the worst. Sure enough, when I looked out the window, a little Anna's hummingbird was lying there on the ground. My first thought was to go and pick it up and hope it would survive. But before I could do that, another hummingbird came and landed very lightly on its back and with its little beak, began to stroke the hummer gently from side to side. It was as if it was trying to bring it back to life, encouraging it to get up. I watched in awe, as it first stroked the hummer with its little beak on one side and then the other. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. She stayed there for a good five minutes, trying to help resuscitate it. It wanted so badly to rescue it. After about five minutes, it gave up and flew off. Now was my chance, and I went out and picked it up. It seemed lifeless in my hand, but at the same time, I felt a kind of vibration that I can't explain. I held it a while, and then I noticed that its eyelids blinked. (Yes, hummingbirds have eyelids and eyelashes!) Soon it sat up and seemed to be recovering. I took it out to the feeder and it began to drink, and the other hummingbird, that must have seen me take it in, joined in at the feeder and they fed together."

So we are all wanting to help each other survive this pandemic, and it seems that even the hummingbirds want to help other hummingbirds.





Don't forget!

You can help the Society help hummingbirds in two ways - by joining or making a donation-and don't forget to remember the Hummingbird Society in your will or trust!

Of course, all memberships and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Beth Kingsley Hawkins
Beth Kingsley Hawkins
Acting Executive Director

link to Sedona Hummingbird Festival

Photo: Wally Nussbaumer

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