It’s fall migration time!
Those in the North are saying bye to the hummingbirds; those down South are saying hello as they pass through; those in the West are saying “whatever” to the hummingbirds hanging around all year.
(If you happen to be reading this during spring migration, replace North and South in the last paragraph.)
To mark this occasion, we decided to assemble 10 of the most interesting hummingbird migration facts we could find for you. Take a look.
1. Hummingbirds live solitary lives and migrate by themselves. We often think of birds migrating in flocks, particularly geese, but that’s not always the case. Hummingbirds can be very territorial, so it only makes sense they make the journey alone.
2. Anna’s Hummingbirds aren’t the migrating type. Well, some do head to more favorable climates, but many of these hummingbirds will stay in the same spot for the whole year, especially those in California.
3. Hummingbirds likely begin migration due to environmental changes. Many have theorized that it’s the drop in available food that encourages migration (which is why some people claim it’s not good to leave your hummingbird feeders out during the fall), but scientists no longer believe that’s the case. Instead, hummingbirds likely migrate due to the changing level and angle of the sunlight.
4. During migration, hummingbirds eat more than their weight in nectar and insects each day. With a heart rate of 1,200 beats per minute and an average of 53 wing beats per second(!), hummers expend tons of energy on their journeys. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can eat one to three times their weight in nectar and insects a day. Imagine eating three times your weight each day!