The fall migration of hummingbirds means winter will be here sooner than we know it. Hummingbirds started migrating hummingbirds in the last several weeks and will continue to arrive in our neck of the woods for a while.
There are two major migrations of ruby-throated hummingbirds – one in spring heading to northern states and one in fall heading south to warmer climates. The male hummingbirds are the first to arrive and are followed by females and juvenile males.
There is a neat map online where you can track the migration of these birds each year. You can even report the birds that you see so that they show up on this map.
Providing Food for Hummingbirds
One of the best ways to provide food for these hummingbirds is to have food plants in your garden. Tara has a native plants garden that provides nectar and nesting space for the birds and we supplement this with feeders that hang at Tara Lodge.
Food for your hummingbird feeders is easy to make. Mix 1 cup white sugar into 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to cool and fill up your feeders.
While temperatures in fall are cooler, it is still warm enough that food in your hummingbird feeders will spoil fairly quickly, so fill up your feeders with only enough food to last for 2-3 days and then clean it out and start with fresh.
When you clean your feeders, don’t use soap or bleach as this might leave a residue on your feeders. Use a mixture of water and vinegar or just hot water and thoroughly clean all of the parts of your feeders. Allow them to dry and then refill them with fresh food.
For more tips on feeding and attracting, visit your local Audubon website.