Hummingbirds: Fueling Migration
So how do they do it? These tiny little birds flying thousands of miles from wintering grounds in Central America back to North America?
Take a look around your yard – see any of those bright red flowers blooming yet? Nope, not for awhile still. What about little insects to glean? Well, there are a few but they may be few and far between right now.
So how do our hummingbirds get enough food to make their annual migration back north?
Well, there’s this great relationship between our Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that is just amazing – and it points out how interdependent we are and how timing is so important.
But why are the sapsuckers starting to head north as such a time? Because the trees are waking up and sap is starting to run!
The Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are migrating northward, making wells in trees to sip sap from. As this happens, tiny insects are attracted to the sweet sticky substance and get trapped there and sap seeps from the wells.
Next on the scene….our Ruby-throated hummingbirds! Following fast on the heels of the sapsuckers, our hummingbirds head north, checking out these sap wells, sipping the sweet nectar and gobbling up insects that are stuck in them.
Check the latest migration maps on the Journey North website – see where our Ruby-throated hummingbirds are now. I bet you’ll be surprised at how far they’ve gone in just a week! Hope you have those feeders up 🙂