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Migration route?

August 4 2017 at 1:08 PM

Mary  (Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

I swear I have more hummingbirds now then a month ago. I have six 32oz feeders and two 15oz feeders up. They will empty four of the 32oz feeders and both 15oz in less then 10 hours.
Could I be on a migration route? I live in San Diego County, in the mountains of Julian, 4800' elevation. The majority are Anna's hummingbirds.

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Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Migration route?

August 4 2017, 2:02 PM 

Anna's hummingbirds are non-migratory. This certainly is the beginning of the migration for the other species that do however. Your wonderful habitat and location is most certainly a major migration route. How lucky you are to enjoy so many hummingbirds!!
Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

[linked image]


Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Migration route?

August 4 2017, 4:21 PM 

I don't recall the names who have posted here on the site but I do recall that the area your in hosts a great (prodigious) number of hummers this time of the year. Your numbers probably are somewhat related to migration and would indicate at least another species or two adding to the hummers you have. Along with the Anna's you should also see Rufous, Costa's and Black-chinned. Mixed in as I suspect they are it's pretty difficult to get any reasonable count of each species. But overall you seem to be feeding far more than 750 hummers a day, I hope they appreciate your efforts to keep the feeders filled every day.
Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

(Login Canyoneagle)
Hummingbird Lover 2015

Re: Migration route?

August 5 2017, 2:55 PM 

Hi Mary,

Anna’s Hummingbirds don’t migrate in the traditional sense, but they do move around. Anna’s are in my yard year-round, but they aren’t necessarily the same birds throughout the year. Currently I have both Anna’s and Rufous hummers in my yard, but there is a lot of turnover. There are new individuals of both species showing up, while others have moved on.

From what I have read, migration in Anna’s is poorly understood. Here are three different snippets from the migration section of the Birds of North America account for Anna’s to give you an idea. You might want to research the topic more thoroughly on your own:

Does not migrate latitudinally as do all other hummingbirds breeding north of Mexico. Instead, there is an extensive postbreeding movement upward into the mountains and to the southeast (Arizona, New Mexico, n. Sonora). The movement is disorganized or incoherent, with different populations (and individuals) doing different movements: some birds move northward along the coast, and birds from higher elevations may move to lower elevations as temperatures drop. It is likely that these movements are driven by and track food availability.

The nature of the migration is unclear; different populations appear to behave differently. Parts of the California populations undergo a postbreeding movement to higher elevations; other parts may experience a more typical long-distance migration to the south and east. Still others are resident. Birds that move to higher elevations may return to areas closer to their origin in 2-3 mo, or may also move southeast. In each case, both adults and immatures are involved, and the movements are seasonal. This post-breeding migration or wandering appears to be concentrated June to October, though different populations are on somewhat different schedules that depend on local conditions (food availability), and little is known about the populations north of California.

Numbers of Anna's Hummingbirds were at a maximum in the high mountains of s. California by late July and August (Stiles 1973). These birds may well be a part of the pool that sends migrants eastward across the deserts to Arizona. It appears that this migration may begin somewhat earlier than Stiles supposed (in mid-August rather than early September), but this may be a consequence of population pressure or seasonal variability. Anna's Hummingbird has increased both in numbers and extent of range. Additional numbers may saturate previously adequate mountain ranges earlier in the season and force larger numbers of birds eastward.

Anna’s are a birdy mystery waiting to be solved! happy.gif

Eugene, OR
zone 8b


Nathan Motz
(Login nmotz06)
Hummingbird lover 2013

Re: Migration route?

August 6 2017, 11:24 PM 

Yeah I lived in the Sacramento Valley for 4 years and there was a fairly well-established pattern there although I wish I could absolutely prove it through banding. Every late August a few immature Anna's would show up right as the Black-chinneds were heading south. Through the winter I'd have just a few immature males that underwent their seasonal molt into adulthood. Breeding began in February and by late May/early June there was a fairly quick and noticeable drop in the number of adult males. My best guess is that they headed up in elevation to take advantage of the mountain Penstemons that bloom in the Sierras. A few females/immatures would stay behind but they would slowly diminish in numbers and by late summer I would have only a handful of female Anna's until the immature males showed up again in late August.
Nathan Motz
Deridder, Louisiana

(Login Yodlei44)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Migration route?

August 8 2017, 10:46 AM 

Wow! I hardly see my levels go down before I have to clean & I think I have heavy use. Can't imagine filling that often but I wish I had that problem! Lucky you!

Elwood, IL
Zone 5b
[linked image]


Frank Janzen
(Login Frankdj)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Migration Route . . .

August 10 2017, 2:17 AM 

Mary . . .

Yes, one might say you and I are in fact in "a" migration route. This year has been so slow and in no way
what we enjoyed back in the 2005-2007 time periods when we had eight of the Perky Pet 96oz eight station
feeders along with two of the Perky Pet 48oz six station feeders and were using 50 pounds of sugar every week
to keep our little friends happy while they were visiting on their way through. We do have some non-migratory
visitors but they aren't anywhere close to the numbers of those just passing through on their way south.

Here's a shot I took this afternoon of two of our feeders . . .

[linked image]

It's not as easy taking pictures from our kitchen deck as it was in the past before we added another 5 feet of
deck and cover and I can't get the same angle as I was able to do in the past but my wife bought me a new
Canon EOS 80D for Christmas and I'm trying to get used to all the fancy Bells and Whistles!
Frank Janzen
Mountain Center, CA
Zone 9

[linked image]

Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Migration route?

August 10 2017, 11:26 AM 


Its always fun to see shots of your hummer activity. Yes every year seems a bit different , some years I had a lot more feeders out. Like one year I had a 50 oz and a 30oz hanging on my back porch and needed them. The in between years not so much, good activity just not like the one year.
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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(Login D_Kleiser)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Migration route?

August 13 2017, 8:51 PM 

Wow, Frank. happy.gif
Far west Chicago 'Burbs, Zone 5a
Click for Forecast for 60139 from weatherUSA

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