Sunday, April 22, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week

Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

A very tiny bird and the only regularly occurring hummingbird in our area.

Eighteen species of hummingbirds have been recorded in the United States. Mostly west of the Mississippi. With the occasional stray wandering east.

Ecuador, which is the size of Colorado, has 132 different species.

We get just one.


And the Ruby-throuts aren't even here for the entire year! They show up in the spring and leave in the fall.

You can track their progress migrating in spring at this site. It seems the first one spotted in New Jersey was on April 1st, with the next sightings the 16th or later.

April 16th was when we spotted one in our yard this year. I submitted this sighting to the tracking site noted above. But it is not listed on the map. Oh well.

The males, which have the ruby throats, arrive before the females, looking to stake out territories. We know they breed here, but we've yet to find a nest (they are tiny and well camouflaged). We usually have several males, chasing each other about the yard. But so far just this one. Toward the end of their time here we can have double digit numbers. No doubt a combination of the birds fledged here, their parents, and migrants heading south from points further north.

And then all of a sudden they're gone. We leave the feeders up for a week or two more, but our hopes for a stray from out west have yet to be realized.

So we'll just have to enjoy the one we have.


You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts here.

No comments: