Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.
I hope you’ll get some great ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.
For birdwatchers from the southern countries, hummingbirds are already returning.
In my backyard are several hooks for hummingbird feeders. I will fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just prior to the oldest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see is going to be a male, because the men migrate about two weeks before the females.
Did you know most small birds, such as hummingbirds, migrate at night? I’m not certain why. Maybe they do this to make the most of the more calm atmosphere of night, or to prevent the predators that are searching during daylight hours, or perhaps they use the stars to guide them north.
As migration period draws near, daily activity starts to change. Birds who migrate during the night, but normally are busy during daytime hours do not sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake much more at night.
And beginning to feel hungry… real hungry. He wants to put on some fat. He weighs about 2.5 g, but now he starts to eat more, to gorge himself. He eats his weight in food daily. He eats insect eggs and lions, bugs, gnats and the nectar of flowers. He’ll double his weight, and only weigh about 5 g.
Every day the north requires him to come,
To the North he flies into complete darkness, all by himself, weighing no more than a nickel.
Hours pass as he flies, burning off the fat he stored the same as a truck burns gas.
If the hummingbirds fat stores are adequate, he’ll reach the Gulf Coast. If the hummingbirds fat stores aren’t sufficient, he’ll die. If he’s prepared himself well, he’ll have flown for 18 to 22 hours, crossed 500 miles with no rest or food.
Toward the second week of April I will see my first hummingbird of spring. I will have those feeders out early, ready to greet the little fella as he hovers into land for the first time this season in my own backyard.