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FLORIDABIRDS-L  January 2009, Week 4

FLORIDABIRDS-L January 2009, Week 4

Subject:

Valrico hummers + freeze

From:

Backes <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 25 Jan 2009 09:44:39 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (62 lines)

This past week's freezes (25 degrees on Thursday and 28 degrees in Friday)
have severely damaged the plants in my yard. Luckily, most will come back
but I'm currently left with very few blooms of the hummingbirds. It's not a
good situation for the hummers but it's the perfect opportunity for someone
trying to attract hummingbirds to a feeder. Like in my yard, hummingbirds
that were feeding exclusively, or at least primarily, on flowers are now
fighting for a feeder. Similarly, if there were any hummers feeding in a
neighborhood on flowers, they are now looking for a new food source. If one
yard is the only one around with feeders, it will likely attract all of the
hummers around. 

 

I look forward to freezes, although not typically a hard freeze, for the
increase in hummingbird activity in my yard. This freeze has been no
exception. It sometimes takes a couple of days for the increase to be
noticed and today is that day. It may only be one or two new birds but
they've stirred up the whole yard. I mentioned a month or so ago how I
seldom see more than two  hummers involved in a chase during the winter, and
I'm seeing it again. Five hummers have been fighting over one small single
serve feeder in a hibiscus hedge that was severely damaged before the freeze
during the removal of a tree. I'm seeing similar activity in the front yard
involving four birds. 

 

We've had a couple of banding sessions that I don't believe I ever got
around to posting the results. In early December, Doreen Cubie attempted to
confirm the identity of the banded female Rufous, that I'm sure is here for
her 6th year, but only managed to trap a second female Rufous who had not
been previously banded. We also banded an adult male Ruby-throated. Fred
Bassett came to my yard a couple of weeks ago and again failed to catch the
female Rufous. He did catch the second Rufous again and also banded three
Ruby-throateds, one adult and two young males. 

 

There are still plenty of birds in the yard that have been avoiding the
traps. At last count, I confirmed the 2 Rufous still here along with eleven
Ruby-throateds. Black-chinned is always a possibility with some of the
"Ruby-throateds" as 4 or 5 of them are females or young males that aren't
yet showing any gorget feathers. 

 

Steve Backes

Valrico, FL

[log in to unmask]

 


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