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1806, 2021

Humming-bird…a poem.

By |June 18th, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

As I sit and watch the hummingbird at my feeder I’m reminded of this poem by D.H. Lawrence…

Humming-bird

I can imagine, in some otherworld
Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.

Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chirped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.

I believe there were no flowers then,
In the world where humming-birds flashed ahead of creation
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.

Probably he was big
As mosses, and little lizards, they say, were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.

We look at him through the wrong end of the telescope of time,
Luckily for us.

~D. H. Lawrence

906, 2021

The 2021 hummingbird migration banding season has begun…

By |June 9th, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

The 2021 migration banding hummingbird season has begun!  With more than 28 host locations days on the calendar and 7 different Hummingbird Festivals in Tennessee and Mississippi we’re sure to encounter a good many and interesting birds and meet lots of folks who love hummingbirds!

Check this blog post as the summer progresses as we’ll post any interesting or noteable banded birds we encounter along the way.

Public festivals are listed on our webpage.  Those listings will be updated if anything changes or activities are added.  We hope you’ll consider supporting one or more of them.

In the meantime enjoy your hummingbirds.  Remember to keep those feeders clean and the nectar fresh…NO red dye and a 4:1 water to sugar ratio should keep all healthy and vibrant.

Till next time…

2104, 2021

Help us help hummingbirds by spreading the words…”NO RED NECTAR”

By |April 21st, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

Our new t-shirt design was a huge success last year and we’ve had a few requests for shirts since the campaign ended in 2020. So we decided to hold a 2 week only event this spring once again offering shirts, both unisex and woman’s, to serve as conversation starters, a walking and talking billboard to spread the word that NO RED DYE should be used to make hummingbird nectar. Please join me in educating the public and supporting our ongoing research by purchasing a t-shirt. All proceeds will be used for continued hummingbird research and education. Southeastern Avian Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization. We were established in 2014 to promote the conservation and preservation of hummingbirds and other neotropical migrants through study, research, education and banding. We invite you to check out our ongoing work at www.southeasternavianresearch.org. Thank you for your support through this fundraiser.

Copy and paste the link below into your browser and make your selections.  Two week after the campaign ends you’ll recieve your t-shirt in the mail.  You can start wearing it and spreading the word.   THANK YOU!

https://www.customink.com/fundraising/annual-no-red-nectar-campaign2-weeks-only-3013?fbclid=IwAR1BZI2CSTCljTSozOev8nTM5KIYwdJMECaLF_xiLk7LvqXpwQpBYuYRTdM

904, 2021

So you’ve found a baby bird on the ground….

By |April 9th, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

Spring has sprung and soon those eggs you’ve noticed in your birdhouses, bushes or trees will begin to hatch.  And notoriously it’s also the time baby birds are found on the ground and my phone starts ringing with frantic calls of ‘what to do’…

Here’s a great reference tool put out by our friends at Massachusetts Audubon.  And if you need to find a rehabber here’s a link to the 53 dedicated individuals in Tennessee. https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/rehab.html  Just click on the gray tab and the list will appear by County.

3003, 2021

Ruby-throats are returning from their wintering grounds! A few things to remember while you wait for yours to show up…

By |March 30th, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are making their spring return…day by day more and more are being seen and reported.  It’s an exciting time for everyone!  We wait all winter for their return and like sand through an hour glass…here they come, slow but sure.

In preparation for their arrival here are a few reminders:

First, get those feeders out, dust them off, rinse them good and partially fill them with 1 part white table sugar to 4 parts water.  Boil if you won’t drink your tap water or if you prefer to but MOST IMPORTANTLY – NO RED DYE. Hang one or two where you can view them.  Keep the nectar fresh and feeders clean while you wait.  Make note on a calendar when you see your first one…that way you’ll know for next year.

Male Ruby-throats will be the first to migrate in…they’re NOT SCOUTS they’re just the first migrants to find your feeders.  I’m not sure where the idea of a ‘scout’ originated, but I’ve never seen so many folks call these first hummers scouts in all the years I’ve been doing this.  By definition a ‘scout is someone or thing that comes ahead, finds what they’re looking for and returns to report what they’ve found to others.  Hummingbirds DO NOT do that nor do they report to any other hummingbird.  They are solo, selfish creatures who would like nothing more than to have that feeder all to itself.  Recall what you witnessed last fall…the fights, the jockeying for feeders.  That is the true nature of a hummingbird.  Some folks have told me they ‘know all this’ and only use the word ‘scout’ in reference to the ‘first ones to show up’.  Okay, I get that…but to others the word ‘scout’ means just what the definition says it is…and that’s spreading misinformation.  Will it harm the hummers?  No.  But why not use proper terms and each opportunity to teach someone who aren’t familiar with hummingbird behavior the right ones?

Also remember that the numbers you saw at your feeders late last summer and early fall are NOT the numbers you’ll see this spring.  It is fact, that across the whole avain world, only 1 in 5 fledglings will live to see their first birthdays.  Sad but true and goes the same for hummingbirds.  Many inexperienced birds will have perished and only adults and 1 in 5 juveniles will make it back.  So do the math…statistically you will never see the number of ruby-throats at your feeders in spring as you do in fall.   In addition these spring migratants are on a finite time mission in spring.  They must feed and move on to their breeding grounds.  To where they were born to mate and reproduce .  They don’t need to hang out and ‘get fat’.   That’s what we see in fall migration when the next generation of hummingbirds are on the ground  ALL hummingbirds start the slow migraiton southward.  It is inevitable that I hear each spring “where are all my hummingbirds”?  Because we remember the feeding frenzies and not the weeks and months prior.

In addition it’s also good to know that the few birds that will stay in your yard, because they were born there, act very differently during spring breeding time.  Females are busy building nests and reproducing…then sitting on her eggs protecting and incubating them most of the day and all night.  Males are busy defending a territory and wooing the ladies.  Then once nestlings hatch the females spends hours a day hunting food and feeding them…perhaps only stopping by your feeders for a ‘quick pick-me-up’ as they always prefer natural foods during this time…no one can live by sugar-water alone. 80% of a hummingbird’s diet are insects and the slurry fed to nestlings must be high in protein so they can grow.  While the females are busy raising the young the males are still looking to mate with other females and by mid-July are already heading ‘back south’…having completed their job in the cycle of reproduction. I suggest keeping a dairy or field notes to refer to from year to year so as not to get caught in the worry and misbelief that ‘hummers are disappearing’…

Take good care of your hummingbirds with common sense practices.  Keep feeders clean, nectar make correctly, fresh and clean.  Avoid the use of ANY pesticides in your yard. Hummingbirds need soft-bodied insects to eat and by avoiding the chemicals you’re providing a healthy well-rounded habitat.  And NO RED DYE…can’t say that enough.

If you have any specific questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact me directly…routledges@bellsouth.net

HAPPY HUMMINGBIRDING!!!

3003, 2021

Ruby-throats are returning from their wintering grounds! A few things to remember while you wait for yours to show up…

By |March 30th, 2021|Categories: CR Blog|0 Comments

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are making their spring return...day by day [...]