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Questions about migration thru the SW USA

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Old Saturday 22nd August 2009, 20:55   #1
PumaMan
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Question Questions about migration thru the SW USA

It may just be a daily aberration but there seems to be more hummingbirds around today than normal. It could just be that is cooler today than it has been.

My questions are: How will the southern migration of hummingbirds manifest itself here in the SW? Will it be a large wave of birds? Will it just be several extra from time to time? Or will they come south in specific corridors so that I might not see many more at all? These questions are for those watchers in the southern parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and, of course, the northern states of Mexico.
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Old Saturday 22nd August 2009, 21:46   #2
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I just saw a Rufous male--the first I've seen this summer. Isn't he a migrant on his way south?
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Old Saturday 22nd August 2009, 23:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
These questions are for those watchers in the southern parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and, of course, the northern states of Mexico.
I just reread this and realized that, of course, others are very welcome to answer my questions--I didn't mean to exclude other birders.
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Old Sunday 23rd August 2009, 16:23   #4
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The AZ-NM listserve has multiple reports of higher than normal migration feeder activity this year. That is certainly true in my yard. I have 8 feeders that are crowded battlesites and visited by all ages and genders of multiple species of hummers every day. Costa's (year-round, rule the territory), Anna's, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned (all mostly year-round), Rufous (just passing through) and 2 very stray Ruby-throats that came through. I'm hoping for my wintering Blue-chinned again.
Normally during migration, you'll just note increased activity and flying visits by Rufous for a few days. There won't be a large "flock" - just extra guys for a week or so. Or at least that has proven to be the case over the years in my yard.
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Old Monday 24th August 2009, 19:15   #5
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My brother and I will be visiting this Friday in the mountains of Sierra Vista. Our contact has said there are more this year then last. They said there were 4 Berylinnes. That's one I haven't gotten yet. Hoping to get some better White-Earred and Violet-Crowned shots this year.
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Old Monday 24th August 2009, 20:24   #6
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On the AZ-NM listserv (http://www.birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/AZNM.html) from just the past two days :
Subject: AZ. Sierra Vista Hummers upon Hummers
From: Darlene Smyth <dsmyth3 AT COMCAST.NET>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 17:14:45 -0700
What a hummer day! If you have been waiting to check out the hummers at
Beatty's Miller Canyon B&B and at Mary Jo's Ash Canyon B&B, wait no longer! The
show is magnificent. I took 4 neighbors, two old friends and their 5 year old
grandson (a Birder!!!) along with me today and one neighbor is certain we saw
every hummer her Peterson guide showed to be possible in our range. She was a
bit generous as we did not get a Plain-capped Starthroat since we didn't make
it to Patagonia; with all of the swirling juvenile Selasphorus hummers, we
could have had an Allen's, but I am certainly not going to call it.
Subject: SE AZ: Incredible 200 plus hummers!
From: Charmayne Samuelson <cpsamuelson AT MSN.COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 06:13:50 -0700
We now have 200-250 hummers daily! At least double in numbers of what we posted
last week, on the same 10 feeders that we've had up for a couple of weeks.
Simply amazing! Like Glenn Klinger, the same five species continue; however,
the Caliope have increased to at least 40-50, and the Broad-tailed and the
Rufous are numerous as well, but the Anna�s and Black-chinned have
significantly decreased in number. It is quite the show!

Jon Samuelson
DOS CABEZAS SPIRIT AND NATURE RETREAT B & B
A bed and breakfast for nature lovers, 14 miles SE of Willcox, AZ
Twenty minutes to the Chiricahua Monument and Mountains
www.doscabezasretreat.com

Subject: AZ: Elfrida Hummer "Fallout", Aug. 23, 2009

From: Glenn Klingler <alala70 AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 03:20:15 +0000
After a rather intense thunderstorm this afternoon, I experienced a pretty
serious influx of hummers for about an hour. There was easly 100 hummingbirds,
sitting on the clothes line preening and otherwise drying off. And also
swarming the feeders I have, which number only 3. Pretty neat spectacle. There
were five species represented, the same five I posted a couple days ago.

Glenn Klingler
Wildlife Biologist
Elfrida, AZ
My own small yard is still hosting at least 50 of 7 or 8 species. The reports throughout Southern Arizona echo the amazing numbers and display this year.
Or was.
A large, aggressive swarm of africanized bees has moved in and the usual surefire tricks and remedies for getting rid of or at least diverting them have failed.
They now spend the night on the empty feeders, making it difficult to move and remove.
I don't mind bees and we usually live happily together, but these are landing on my face, neck, ankles and pursuing if I walk away. Not nice.

This is evidently the year of years to see hummers in Arizona!
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Old Tuesday 25th August 2009, 01:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proxylady View Post
The AZ-NM listserve has multiple reports of higher than normal migration feeder activity this year. That is certainly true in my yard. I have 8 feeders that are crowded battlesites and visited by all ages and genders of multiple species of hummers every day. Costa's (year-round, rule the territory), Anna's, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned (all mostly year-round), Rufous (just passing through) and 2 very stray Ruby-throats that came through. I'm hoping for my wintering Blue-chinned again.
Normally during migration, you'll just note increased activity and flying visits by Rufous for a few days. There won't be a large "flock" - just extra guys for a week or so. Or at least that has proven to be the case over the years in my yard.
(my bold)

Thanks for the info and the reports.

Are the Rufous hummingbirds near you as aggressive and territorial as the couple of male Rufous that have settled in here in the last couple of days? The ones here have completely taken over two of my three feeders--they are relentless and indefatigable. I love seeing them because I haven't seen them before but I kind of wish they would continue on South. How long will they stay here in Tucson? I just ordered another feeder so that the "local" hummers can get some nectar.

BTW, I love the sound of the Rufous hummingbirds when they fly--noticeably louder buzzing noise.

Last edited by PumaMan : Tuesday 25th August 2009 at 01:43.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2009, 23:13   #8
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Sorry to get back to you so late on this! My Costa's usually chase all the Rufous away pretty effectively and I usually only glimpse them briefly for a couple days during migration. Until yesterday, when a new immature Rufous male showed up. Incredibly aggressive - even fighting with my swarm of "killer" bees. (see www.daniels-image.com/Bees)
The established hierarchy is on its ear at the moment and I have 4 other species a little bewildered by the new order.
I had a poor Blue-throated female show up yesterday - way early. They've taken to over-wintering and usually show up in October. The little Rufous attacked her constantly.
All my other Rufous moved through last week and the week before. New little guy is totally unexpected and shows no signs of leaving.

They are noisy when they fly, but nothing compared to the mini-helicopters that are my Broad-tailed hummers.

Here he is:
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