Saturday, August 24, 2013
Hummingbirds need more than nectar, especially for migration.
Feeding clear nectar to hummingbirds is a given. It mimics the sugary nectar they'd naturally get from flowers. But diets of pure nectar lack much-needed protein, and most species regularly consume small insects in addition to nectar. So a yard with several nectar feeders, but no insects, might be avoided. It could lack the protein-rich insects that hummingbirds need to consume with nectar.
Sometimes, insects are feed to nestlings, which need the protein to grow. Now however, just prior to the long, arduous migratory flight, is when all hummers crave insects the most. It gives them the long-lasting energy they need.
Don’t look for one in Europe Hummingbirds are found only in the western hemisphere; basically North, Central and South America. It excludes Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia (and Antarctica). They’ll leave here, migrating to Central America, about early September. When they’ve left, clean your nectar feeders thoroughly and put them away for next year. (One species, the Rufous Hummingbird, which migrates south from the Alaska area, could stay here all winter.) Just to be safe we leave one nectar feeder up for a few weeks, for any migrators from up north that may be passing through.
Posted by Owen Yost at 8/24/2013 10:11:00 PM