Hummingbirds are tiny and beautiful creatures on the planet. People love to watch them roaming around the garden, as it is an indicator of spring. There are 300 species of hummingbirds with different appearances and features. The habitat of hummingbirds is different from that of other birds. They are considered mysterious birds because they vanish when winter approaches. In winter, some hummingbirds migrate long distances to escape from harsh climatic conditions.
If you are wondering about the splendid creature’s journey and want to know more about it, let’s find it together. Scroll down this article to know more about these mysterious feathered friends.
Why Do Hummingbirds Migrate?
Hummingbirds are migratory birds. They migrate in the winter season from one place to another. But do you actually know where and why these birds go? Well, this wholly depends upon the nature of hummingbirds. As I have already mentioned, among 300 species of hummingbirds, only a handful of species migrate regularly to different parts of the world. They start their journey and find their destination according to the climatic changes and availability of resources.
In the seasonal movement of hummingbirds, they cover hundreds and thousands of miles. There are multiple reasons for the migration of hummingbirds.
- Food Resources
Hummingbirds move from one place to another in search of food. In winter, when the natural food resources are limited, they face difficulty in feeding. The availability of nectar-producing flowers, insects, and fruits are the factors that influence hummingbirds to travel to resourceful places.
- Seasonal changes
Hummingbirds are temperature-sensitive creatures. They need warm surroundings to survive. To escape from storms and strong winds, they shift to warm places. They migrate to hang out in a safe location in poor weather conditions.
- Bird’s age and sex
Hummingbirds start their migration in their juvenile stage. Young birds build their strength and maturity for migration. Hummingbirds that hatch early in the year may migrate earlier than other birds.
Male hummingbirds migrate a few days before females. The male birds establish safe territory before the female hummingbirds arrive.
Where Do Hummingbirds Migrate?
Every hummingbird migrates two times a year. One north and one south. The span of their migration takes hundreds and thousands of miles. They prepare themselves for the long journey. During the migration, they need a large amount of energy to keep their small body moving.
In the spring migration, northern hummingbirds move from South America and Mexico to Canada. The migration period of hummingbirds begins in early February in Mexico and ends in the middle of May in Canada. In the case of southern hummingbirds, they follow the same time frame and start their journey by crossing the Southern US. border. They reserve energy from the feeders and nectar from the flowers before the winter.
How Do Hummingbirds Survive In Winter?
Most hummingbirds escape from winter by migration. But some birds would not be able to migrate due to several reasons. Such birds find human-made shelters and big trees to hide from storms and cold climates. They look for places where the climatic change is milder.
The size of the birds matters because small-sized birds are more likely to suffer from extreme cold. They manage their feathers to keep the body warm. Climatic changes play a major role in hummingbird migration patterns. They reduce their metabolism rate and conserve energy in the winter.
Another important factor in hummingbird survival in winter is the storage of food. During the winter, the shortage of nectar affects hummingbirds, and they face difficulty saving energy. To avoid such situations, they store enough food in their crops, which is a pouch on their neck. They use the stored food whenever they need it.
How To Help Hummingbirds Survive In Winter?
Winter season is a challenging period for hummingbirds. They need the help of people to survive in the harsh weather. You can create a safe and protective environment for the hummingbirds within your backyard.
You can offer hummingbird feeders filled with homemade sugar nectar. This will help them to produce energy during the winter. Before providing them with nectar, you need to take several safety measures. Always check the feeder to prevent mold growth. When you keep the feeder outside in the winter, the chances of getting frozen are high. So place the feeder in an appropriate place to avoid such situations.
Another way to help hummingbirds in the winter is by creating a protective shelter. Arrange a place such as the side of your house, tree branches, or shed to shield them against the cold. You can increase the availability of insects in your garden by stopping the use of pesticides. So the hummingbirds can find the incest and use them as a source of food.
Hummingbirds are incredible creatures that make them survive in harsh conditions. These tiny birds are so fast and furious that they escape from their predators. In the winter, they migrate to other places in search of food, shelter, and feasible living conditions. Even though they are active creatures, they face difficulties to cope with extreme storms and wind.
All we can do is help them by providing shelter and food in winter. Allow them to rest in your backyard trees, sides of your house, and feeders to survive the winter. By doing this, we can ensure that these tiny and adorable creatures continue to fill our gardens and surroundings with joy.