Arizona September 21, 2019
Thousands Of Hummingbirds Are Headed Straight For Arizona This Fall
Geese and butterflies aren’t the only animals that migrate; in fact, many insects and birds fly south for the winter – including hummingbirds! These tiny creatures can be spotted throughout Arizona before making their big trip, and now is prime time to catch a glimpse. Here’s everything you need to know:
Hummingbirds make two migrations each year: spring and fall.
Breeding usually takes place in late summer, after which their southward migration to Mexico begins.
Several theories have been put forth to explain what signals the start of fall migration.
Factors such as daylight duration and declining numbers of insects, flowers, and nectar have all been implicated.
To prepare for their big trip south, young hummingbirds must first gain between 25 and 40 percent of their body weight to support their 1,260 beat-per-minute heart rate.
Fun fact: hummingbirds can flap their little wings an astounding 80 times
per second and zip around at speeds of up to 34 miles per hour!
There are three different species that inhabit Arizona.
Costa's Hummingbirds - like the one shown above - make the Mojave Desert their primary area of residence during their breeding season.
Calliope Hummingbirds can be found across the country, from the mountains in the northwest to right here in Arizona.
During their fall migration, Calliope hummingbirds pass through our state and into Mexico for winter.
The Black-Chinned Hummingbird is especially unique because it both breeds in and migrates to Arizona during wintertime.
That means you can actually catch glimpses of them all throughout the year!
Due to food source shortages, many hummingbirds rely on bird feeders for nourishment.
Adding one to your own garden is a great way to increase your chances of spotting hummingbirds while also helping them during their long-distance journey.
Making nectar to fill your feeder is cheap and easy - simply add one cup of sugar to four cups of water and stir it up until the sugar is completely dissolved. Though many people believe that adding red dye attracts hungry hummingbirds, this is and chemicals in the dye can actually hurt the birds. Don't use it!
Experts also recommend leaving hummingbird feeders up for approximately two weeks after your final bird sighting to ensure any stragglers are taken care of.
Have you ever spotted a hummingbird in Arizona? If so, do you have any idea what type it was? Let us know, and check out our previous article for another place to marvel at them:
The Serene Hummingbird Garden In Arizona That’s Too Beautiful For Words.