Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.
I hope you’ll find some good ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.
This is one of the best stress relieving hobbies in the world, I promise!
It’s getting that time of year again. Spring Time! So, grab your binoculars, a nice tall glass of iced tea, and lets get started.
For birdwatchers from the southern states, hummingbirds are already returning. The rest of you, in the Midwest and Northeast, are still awaiting the first hummingbird of spring to arrive.
In my backyard are several hooks for hummingbird feeders. I’ll fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just before the oldest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see is going to be a male, since the men migrate about two weeks ahead of 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 air of night, or to avoid the predators that are hunting during daytime hours, or maybe they use the stars to guide them north.
As migration period draws near, daily activity begins to change. Birds who migrate at night, but normally are busy during daytime hours don’t sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake a lot more at night.
And beginning to feel hungry… real hungry. He needs to put on some fat. He weighs about 2.5 grams, but now he starts to eat more, to gorge himself. He eats his weight in food every day. He eats insect eggs and lions, bugs, gnats and the nectar of flowers. He will double his weight, and still only weigh about 5 grams.
Every day the north calls for 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 like a truck burns diesel fuel.
If the hummingbirds fat stores are adequate, he’ll reach the Gulf Coast. If the hummingbirds fat stores are not sufficient, he’ll die. If he’s prepared himself well, he will have flown for 18 to 22 hours, crossed 500 miles with no food or rest.
Toward the second week of April I’ll see my first hummingbird of spring. I will have those feeders out early, ready to greet the little fella as he hovers in to land for the first time this year in my own backyard.