March 19, 2010

Migration's on!

I have had the hummingbird feeder up all year and from time to time we have seen hummers come and drink, especially in cold weather. Those were birds who were left behind in the migration, or chose to stay behind. But yesterday we saw the first migrator: a rufous hummingbird. This variety is one of the smallest of the species, one of the prettiest (my opinion), and one of the feistiest. They also migrate the furthest: they overwinter in Mexico and breed as far north as southern Alaska!

Through the marvels of technology Dan was able to enhance my puny photo. I see a major zoom lens in my future.


We have also seen swallows, which I was always told was a harbinger of summer no less, leave alone spring, and Cindy and I watched a number of turkey vultures circle over us during a ride. For me, they are the true birds of summer in the desert.

I have heard from the local peach growers that the trees are two weeks late in blooming, which makes them, and me, happy as there is less chance of frost to damage the crop. I wonder if the orioles will be late arriving too; in past years they show up in the first week of April. Spring must be here.

3 comments:

webb said...

What a beautiful little bird! We only get Ruby Throated, and almost exclusively females at the feeder, so this is a little one I am not likely to ever see. Isn't it wonderful to see spring come in such measurable ways!

Pete said...

What kind of feeder do you use? I came across those Perky-Pet Top Fill feeders while looking online. I read that they're designed for easy cleaning. Have you heard of these yet?ma

Anneke said...

My favorite hummingbird feeder is the "Best-1". They are the easiest to clean. You can find them online at tomsbirdfeeders.com.
PS Wish you would identify yourself.