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3/10/2007 | Scuff Productions

Oh the Excitement! First Male Rufous Spotted on his way North

Bloged in birding by mark Saturday March 10, 2007

I can only ASSUME EVERYONE I know in the world is a huge fan of the tiny Rufous Hummingbirds that migrate through here (and later….some stay) every spring.

I wanted everyone to KNOW we just sighted our FIRST Male visitor for the year just 10 minutes ago, 1050 hours on March 10 ! (Last year our first male was spotted March 11 !! The year before that on March 15).

Bird Watchers on the OBOL LIST (check it out: Oregon Birders on Line) posted sightings of the first migrants at feeders in Salem, Corvallis, and McMinnville by Wednesday……… UP went three feeders here by evening. This morning we’re rewarded with a visit.

Yes, it’s probably true that these first arrivals are mere passers-by on their way to Canada or even Alaska. Our own local neighbor hummingbirds may not be here for another two or three weeks………but in these next two-three weeks, we will gradually see more and more ………….the MALES will be coming through first so as to set up their personal territories ahead of the female arrivals. It’s ALL so exciting.

It IS exciting to be even get to take a tiny part in a migration that is, for the size of this bird, the longest migration in the world……….Remember they come up from as far as central Mexico in the spring along the coastlines or coastal valleys………….when they return in mid-summer on their way south, they head over toward the rockies and down since the flowers are just at their peak there at that time.

The males take NO part in helping make a nest or feeding. They arrive first, fight for small territory, mate, and will be GONE from by early June. By Mid-June the FEMALE MOTHERS will abandon their young and leave. That’s the incredible part. The juveniles will begin leaving around July 1 and all be gone quickly……… make the southern migration entirely alone with NO instruction from anyone. An amazing adventure, eh?

At that point we will be left with a few Anna’s Hummingbirds for a few more weeks but they will abandon us too as nights cool off for the valleys …….so they’ll just be down the hill but out of sight for us.

Oh well it is an amazing bird to study. …………………happy bird watching………………………


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