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A weary traveler

August 31 2017 at 6:10 PM

Nathan  (Login nmotz06)
Hummingbird lover 2013

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.
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Nathan Motz
Deridder, Louisiana

 
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Tom M
(Login TomnStPete)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: A weary traveler

August 31 2017, 6:31 PM 

Good job Nate, glad to see you and the birds are okay.
St Pete Tom
USDA 10a, Heat 10

 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: A weary traveler

August 31 2017, 6:39 PM 

Nathan,
She may not have been simply weary. She may have simply been putting on weight over more than a few day from feeding heavily and finally reached the limits of the weight that her wings were capable of lifting.
Usually a few minutes of rest gives them the ability to resume their near normal flight abilities which is what you provided her. This time of the year it's a common occurrence and I have done exactly what you did as a means to protect them from predators, including ants. Your bird may have been fattening up since she planned to make the trip across the gulf nonstop. After 3-4 minutes they all have flow off as yours did seemingly in normal flight but I choose to call these overeaters "blimpy", since if you watch them they are not quite as agile in flight as a bird that is in the normal weight range.

Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: A weary traveler

August 31 2017, 7:05 PM 

Nice job.

A few weeks ago I saw a hummer fly away from a flower patch and struggle to get two feet off the ground before dropping back down to the ground. Yesterday, at the same flower patch I saw a hummer slowly drop and sit on the ground for a minute before lifting off to feed again.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 
Joni
(Login Yodlei44)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: A weary traveler

September 2 2017, 2:08 PM 

Great job! I've never witnessed them being so fat as to not be able to fly but not fly as quickly... definitely as this time of year.

Joni
Elwood, IL
Zone 5b
[linked image]

 
 

Cathy P (Downers Grove, IL Zone 5b)
(Login Bazuhi)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: A weary traveler

September 8 2017, 10:49 AM 

WOW!!
Cathy P
A Hummingbird Fan in Downers Grove, Illinois
Zone 5a
bazuhi@sbcglobal.net
See My Hummingbird Gardens and Plants
https://www.facebook.com/Cathy-Ps-Hummingbird-Gardens-885457968170727/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums
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