Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

September 9, 2011

Have they flown the coop?

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 8:30 pm
Tags: , , ,


Can you see her?


How about now?

This is the female of the pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds that have been partaking of my hummingbird feeder and bee balm this summer.  She alighted in the oak tree in my backyard while I happened to be sitting outside one afternoon on my deck with my camera at my side.  She wasn’t easy to spot among the leaves, but I had been following her swoopy flight.  The male had been making large loops above my rhododendrons a few days ago while she watched.  Both birds spent a lot of time at my feeder over Labor Day weekend; I can’t help but think they were getting ready for their long flight south to Mexico for the winter.  Perhaps they hoped to gain a good tenth of an ounce in weight in preparation!

I was able to get one more shot of the tiny cutie…

…and then she was gone!



  1. Real nice set of shots Karen… Do you know if they’re like turtles… ummmm… only without the bony shell, and the leathery skin…. and quadrupedal… and reptilian… but apart from those few minor differences, do you know if they return to the exact same spot each year… I guess a Gannet may have been a better comparison… 😉 It would be nice to see the same pair back again next year wouldn’t it… 🙂

    Comment by FS Photography — September 10, 2011 @ 4:17 am | Reply

    • From what I’ve read, studies that have banded hummingbirds seem to suggest the birds may return to the place they hatched each year, and possibly visit the same feeders. I suppose it would be quite difficult to tell if the same birds come back to my yard next year, but I hope they do! If they are definitely gone for the season now, I will miss their familiar hum very much!

      Comment by Karma — September 10, 2011 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  2. I was wondering the same this week. I haven’t seen them at my feeder for a week or so. I will miss them so very much. I have photos that I took in the spring of my fast friends that I’ve yet to share. Perhaps one day this cold, dark winter I’ll feature them on the blog.

    Comment by Becky Sue — September 10, 2011 @ 6:58 am | Reply

    • The only things my hummingbird feeder seemed to be attacting yesterday was yellow jackets! 😦 I cleaned it out and made one more batch of sugar water so that I could make a point to watch this weekend and see if they come by at all. If they don’t, I think I will assume they are headed to Mexico and put it away until next year.
      I’d love to see your hummingbird shots, Becky!
      Looks like we have a nice weekend on tap – enjoy!

      Comment by Karma — September 10, 2011 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  3. How awesome for you to see them before they go! I’ve YET to see the male at any time – only the female pops in now an again. Sigh…I will miss them as well if they are indeed headed South, but I’m sure they’ll be back next year to torture me once again! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — September 10, 2011 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

    • I’ve heard that the males often take off for Mexico before the females, as early as the end of August, so perhaps your male has already headed south. They will definitely be missed!

      Comment by Karma — September 10, 2011 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  4. They’re such cute little birds ♥
    Looking at the leaves on your trees, it seems that fall is in the air.

    Comment by thedailyclick — September 10, 2011 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Michaela. It would appear that way from the photos, but fall hasn’t progressed quite that far. My oak unfortunately has some diseased limbs that always drop leaves well before it is time.

      Comment by Karma — September 10, 2011 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  5. I was wondering if the male had already left. I have the female at the feeder pretty constantly now, for the past 3 or 4 days…She was buzzing my head while I sat on the deck near “her” feeder just a bit ago…but haven’t seen the male lately. I think she’s getting ready to leave too. I also made a fresh batch of food for her today…hoping she gets enough for her trip. Safe flight little ones! We’ll all be waiting for you in the spring! I didn’t know they come back to the same feeder. That explains them buzzing my head in the spring if the feeder isn’t out for them early enough!

    Comment by Dawn — September 10, 2011 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

    • I will happily await their return next spring. Thanks for stopping by Dawn.

      Comment by Karma — September 11, 2011 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  6. Awesome shots, Karma. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — September 10, 2011 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  7. Our male hummingbirds left the first of September, as always, but the females are still around. This seems odd. It feels like they are usually gone by the 10th or the 15th for sure, when they follow their males down south. I asked Barry yesterday if it might be a warm autumn? Glad you were able to get some shots of the tiny cutie.

    Comment by Kathy — September 19, 2011 @ 8:09 am | Reply

    • I thought for sure my hummingbirds were gone – then just this afternoon one of my daughters spotted the female at the feeder. I’m glad I didn’t put it away just yet!

      Comment by Karma — September 19, 2011 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

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