Those of us who live in more northern and interior locations who have been missing ‘our’ hummingbirds since they left last fall, it won’t be long before they are back dazzling us again. The first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are working their way from very southern parts of the U.S. and are reaching areas from the Mid-Atlantic west to northern Texas.
Also moving north are Black-chinned Hummingbirds like those posted here that I photographed on 4-4-13 at the Cibolo Nature Center about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, TX. I saw at least 6 of these hummers at that wonderful location that provides a lot of native vegetation in addition to just 2 feeders to support these hungry little jewels. First arrival Black-chinned Hummingbirds have been reported from Las Vegas to the Ft Worth, Texas area.
Though drought conditions have been reduced in some eastern areas much of western and some mid-western parts of the U.S. are still in drought conditions. This will reduce the number of flowers that provide the nectar the hummers need. Some of these areas have been in drought conditions for several years so nectar bearing flowers may be in short supply in those areas. If you live in one of those areas that is predicted to have drought persisting or developing as shown on the map below, please put out an extra sugar-water feeder (just 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, no dye) or two to help our hummers as they migrate through or nest in your area.
You can also help out these hummers by providing hanging flower baskets with good nectar bearing flowers. Here is a good article ‘Garden Guide to a Hummingbird Hanging Basket’ from Birds and Blooms Magazine’s website. I used several of these last year that were very popular with both hummers migrating through and those spending the summer.