If you’ve been feeding the hummingbirds this summer and you still have nectar out, you might have noticed lately an absence of males. Male ruby-throated hummingbirds can easily be distinguished from females by their brilliant red gorget (neck), especially lovely when the sunlight hits it just right.
In the fall, the males leave before the females, heading to Mexico where they will spend the winter. Females along with immature hummers stay around later. Have you noticed the immature males? Sometimes they have a few red feathers in their gorget, sometimes what looks like a “five o’clock shadow.” Males won’t get their complete red gorgets until after their first migration. So when our birds return in the spring, the males who were born this summer will be sporting a new red gorget.
Where I live in western North Carolina, the males have been gone now for about a week. Depending on where you live, you might be still seeing them, or they might also be gone.
It’s good to keep your feeders out, even after you first notice they are gone because you can help the birds migrating. Birds heading south already will need to eat and may stop off at YOUR feeder on their long journey.
Want to know more about hummingbirds? Click HERE for ten things you may not know or HERE to learn about their migrations. They are such fascinating birds, I think it is always fun to see, and to help them.
Enjoy your day!