Friday, July 17, 2015

Where Do They Go?

May 1st is a much anticipated day here on the farm.
Typically it is right around this date that the hummingbirds arrive
from their arduous journey north from the Caribbean, where they spend the winter.

These tiny birds get right to work building nests and laying eggs. 
During this time their visits to the feeders are frequent and usually 
consist of much shrieking and dive-bombing as they vie for feeding rights.
This is one of the times of summer when traffic at the feeders is heavy,
as the parents are preparing to raise their young.
Hummingbirds are quite territorial and spend much time chasing each other away
from the never-ending source of sugar water.

Then come mid-summer it seems as though the hummingbirds all but disappear.

Where do they go?

It is at this time of year, when they are feeding their newly hatched babies,
that their diet switches to one of primarily tiny insects.
These insects provide the necessary protein for their growing hatchlings.

Once the babies are almost full grown, the birds switch back to 
their high-carbohydrate diet of nectar (or sugar water).
By the end of summer, traffic picks up around the feeders 
and the most hummingbirds of the entire season are seen flitting and feeding,
chasing, and shrieking, and dive-bombing each other.
This is the time that energy must be stored for their long flight back to the Caribbean.

Isn't nature amazing?

You might remember my silly story the other week about Kenny Roger's 
entrance into the witness protection program.
All kidding aside, Kenny is now living out his days in the barn...

in the company of some pretty cool cats.

Kenny is old and has come up lame.
Getting around is quite difficult for him,  making it necessary to keep
him out of harm's way.
The other roosters were picking on him...chickens have no tolerance for weakness.

I feel a little sorry for him without his hens around,
so I bring him daily treats of blueberries and kitchen scraps...

which he happily munches.


  1. i did not know that about hummingbirds. how interesting. will keeny heal and go back with the others?

  2. Oops, my comment disappeared. I wanted to tell you what a fine and wonderful shepherd you are! Kenny Rogers seems content, thanks to your care. And I'm wondering what your formula is for the sugar water.

  3. Yes,I miss the hummers...Looks like Rooster Hospice..I guess witness protection is a nicer term..Have a wonderful weekend...xxxoo

  4. Interesting to know about hummingbirds. I'm afraid all my birds have disowned me since my feeders are empty. With being gone on several trips this summer I can't keep them filled. Hopefully they are getting their fill on flowers since my water system is working and I have lot of flowers. I've been keeping up on the farm with my phone but it is almost impossible to comment. Yes, I need to upgrade, LOL!! June

  5. Ohhh--I am so glad that you wrote about the hummingbirds--I had gotten one hummer and she was coming on a regular basis and then--I have not seen her in a couple weeks though I keep putting out fresh sugar water--
    so I shall continue doing that in hopes that one day she will be back ( though I don't really know if she is a she or a he!!!!)
    sorry to hear that Kenny rogers is getting old--aren't we all---but am glad you care enough to still protect and feed his special treats--thanks

  6. My hummingbirds have just come around here in mid June. I have quite a few. They have to get nectar the old fashion way from flowers, especially my bright orange-monster passion flower bushes. I tried so many times to hang up sugar water and the ants get the nectar before the birds do. When I lived on a little farm, we never had this problem with the sugar water. Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Yup our hummers were eating us out of house and home in May and now are few and far between as they look after their babies but in the next week they will be fueling up again till September and off they go ! Same goes for our Oriels . I do hope poor Mr Kenny getting old is no fun at times is it ? Lovely photos . Thanks for sharing have a good weekend !

  8. I have never had a hummingbird feeder, but you've convinced me to get one for these little guys!

  9. That sounds like a nice retirement home for Kenny.

  10. Hi Bev, Just returned home yesterday from our daughter and son-in-law's cottage. So happy to read your information about my sweet little hummingbirds. My neighbor feed them for me when away. They have been gone for about a month now but we are hoping that ours (and hers) will be returning soon. We have been changing the water often and cleaning the feeders ....just in case they come back any day now. Last year they were gone for quite a while, too. Sounds like Kenny Rogers is being very well taken care of. That is so good to hear!
    Take care.........


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