While at the Lawn & Garden show, I learned something interesting but very sad about hummingbirds.
They are long distance migraters. From their winter digs in Costa Rica and Guatemala (the ruby-throated we have here in TN) they can travel as far north as lower Canada! They cover up to 200 miles a day.
And with their rapid metabolisms, it takes a lot of energy to do that.
Hummers find food by looking down as they are flying and see bright areas of color.
Then they come down and refuel themselves.
Now here is the sad part.
In early spring, where do you see the brightest areas of colorful flowers?
In a cemetery.
Lots and lots and lots of flowers. The hummers think they’ve found a gold mine.
Except it’s only fool’s gold. Those colorful flowers are all silk flowers people have put the graves.
But the hummers don’t know that. So they go from flower to flower, desperate for something to eat. And they don’t find it.
Too often they don’t make it out of the graveyard. And it becomes a cemetery for hummingbirds too.
So if you live near a cemetery... Or if you regular visit a cemetery, please consider taking some hummingbird feeders out and keeping them filled with nectar (4 parts sugar to 1 part water – NO dyes).
Who knows how many beautiful little birds you’ll save. We have a cemetery near us and I will have a feeder out there.
Oh! You need to start by the end of March (or even sooner as they are migrating earlier and earlier). You’ll be helping the ones heading far north.
You can take the feeders down once everything is blooming out fully and can support the hungry little travelers.