I take down the front deck hummingbird feeders when we have a hummer-free week or two, usually in late October. I leave the back feeder up for migrating stragglers that need a pit stop. I get to reclaim a bit of my day this way because the front feeders have to be taken in every night to avoid raccoon attacks. The back feeder is on a wire and pulley system that the raccoons haven’t yet figured out, so I can leave it up at night. Some years we don’t get any late season action out back, but this year is different.
One female hummer is hanging around late or we are seeing different female hummers passing through. We see only 1 bird at a time, but we see a female hummer at the feeder several times every day.
Leaving feeders up doesn’t delay migration and males typically migrate ahead of females, so I’m betting that we’re seeing a series of females as they work their way south. It’’s a long trip and feeders can be useful refueling stations, especially in a dry Hill Country fall like we’re having this year . There aren’t as many fall blooms and bugs out there when the weather is this dry.
But it’s possible that we have one lone hummer settling in. We’ve had rare years when a hummingbird stayed all winter and I had to thaw the feeder on freezing mornings. We’ll just have to keep an eye peeled out the back window and see if the feeder keeps getting business.
I’m hoping that we’re seeing a few stragglers and the action will stop in a week or two. It’s nice seeing the hummers but a break from feeder maintenance is much appreciated.
The fall hummingbirds aren’t the only new visitors out back. We’ve also had a return of Inca Doves. They were here years ago but surrendered the property to the clouds of Whitewing Doves that are ubiquitous around here. A new pair of Incas showed up a few months ago, and it looks like they may have raised a family. We saw these 3 at the bird bath while a 4th was pecking around on the ground below.
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