Dry Creek Hill

Fall With Hummingbirds and Inca Doves

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.

Early November at the feeder

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 dove on the right may be a new family member

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.

2 thoughts on “Fall With Hummingbirds and Inca Doves

  1. shoreacres

    The Inca doves are among my favorites. We see them just occasionally here. Usually, it’s mourning doves at my feeders, with a few white-wings mixed in. I’d not seen any of those until the last few years; I suspect they’re moving north. I looked at a TP&W article about them, and found this tidbit:

    “Results of these rural coo counts indicated many white-winged doves were nesting in the breaks of the Edwards plateau in the area of northern Uvalde, Kinney and Medina counties with a substantial number of nesting pairs in the vicinity of Medina lake and the Concan area of Uvalde county.”

    The thought of working as a ‘coo counter’ is appealing, don’t you think?

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      When I first saw ‘coo counts’ in your quote I thought it was some sort of odd typo, but I got it after a slow burn. It does sound like an interesting way to spend the day. A coo counter could stay very busy in the front yard under our feeders. We need dove guards on our mixed seed feeders or all the seed would be on the ground before any other birds had a chance to get a snack. I suppose that’s proof of the frequency of whitewing nesting pairs around Medina Lake.

      I’m hoping our Incas are back for the long term. It looks like they are setting up shop and raising a family in the brush and trees behind the house. I’ll report back later on their progress.

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