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Hummingbirds, Migration South
September 08, 2015

I hope you enjoyed your 'Labor Day', or 'Labour Day' weekend.

This past week was the hottest of the summer for Michigan.

Temperatures hit the 90's (fahrenheit) and flirted with the that mark for most of the week and weekend.

It sounds like reality is back, by this coming weekend.

We stayed home as we do on most Holidays.

Too much traffic and it is a challenge with Yolanda.

We stay home or close to it.

We did take Karen's mom out for a late lunch.

Later we got some Ice Cream, and sat at a popular lake nearby.

We have a love affair with birds.

So much so, many of our sports teams have bird nicknames.

From high-school, college, to pro.

There are colorful birds like 'Blue Jays', 'Orioles', and 'Cardinals'.

There is even a Cardinal (singular) make the list

A big black bird, 'Ravens' make the list.

Most of the birds used for nicknames are birds of prey.

Symbols of strength and toughness.

Symbols of pride and fear.

There are 'Eagles and 'Golden Eagles'.

I don't know of any Bald Eagle teams.

There are 'Falcons' and 'Owls'.

Not to mention a chickens.

Actually, they are called 'Gamecocks', fighting roosters.

Anyone that has spent anytime around chickens.roosters, knows they are a formidable bird.

I can't forget "Loons'.

'Hawks', 'Red Hawks', 'Black Hawks', 'Seahawks', and even 'Jayhawks'.

We even have 'Hawkeyes'.

I'm sure I'm missing some, and I hope you let me know.

There may be 'Osprey', 'Roadrunners', 'Albatross', 'Chickadees', or something I am not aware of.

One of the toughest birds I know are ......


Can you imagine a sports team named The Hummingbirds', or the 'Ruby Throats'?

How about 'Anna's' or 'Calliopes'?

Not so tough sounding is it?

Still, Check out the special skill and talents these magnificent creatures possess.

Pound for pound, or should I say ........

One tenth of an ounce for one tenth of an ounce, these birds have no peers.

Migration South, is no exception.

Very few other species of birds could double their weight like hummingbirds and still be as efficient and mobile.

Not all birds of prey are able to fly off with their weight in tow.

Hummers are required to do so if they are to survive.

Especially Ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Most of these birds are required to fly 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to their wintering grounds in Southern Mexico to Panama.

Oh sure, some birds funnel through Texas, and still other birds remain in the deep south.

Speculation is these birds are too young or too old to make the journey.

Anna's hummingbird may migrate some, but mostly they cruise up and down the west coast, mountains and valleys in search of food.

Not all of you realize that hummers, or think of hummingbirds as carnivores.

Nectar and sugar waters helps to fuel the birds in their hunt for insects.

Without insects, nectar wouldn't get the job done.

Two reasons for migration are simply food.

Flowers and insects disappear in cold weather.

Hummers have started their migration already, as the males have left here and females and young are gorging.

Migration South is instinctive.

Adults don't stick around to teach the young.

No flocks.

No staging.

When Nature tells them, off they go.

God made them that way.

Soon I will be without hummingbirds.

It will be a long seven plus months before I see them again.

I only ask, that you take care of my birds as they pass through :-)

I forget to mention, wasps and hornets are very busy this time of year.

Yellowjackets, paper wasps, Bald faced hornets, and others become more aggressive this time of year

As the nest/hive grows, there is a sense of urgency to gather food for the growing hive. .

I have been teaching the use of mint oil for years, as a neurotoxin for these pests.

The smell of mint drives them crazy.

Spray it on them and they drop dead, instantly.

Use oil from a healthfood store, not the baking section in the grocery store.

Mix 75% rubbing alcohol with 25% pure mint oil.

Spray liberally.

Make a sache' to hang near your feeders and keep them minty.

It works.

Don't breathe in pure mint oil and don't worry about your hummers.

There is no harm to them.

Your other options are saucer type feeders (pictured on this page), that are designed to keep pests out.

Well , it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.

Charles Lamb (1775-1834) British Essayist

Indeed, the joy is in the giving, not for praise.

Now the bible

"Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.

So when you give to the needy,
do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."

Jesus Christ

Matthew 6: 1-2

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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