Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hummingbirds Staying Around For Winter

When Annabeth and Donald Proctor first started feeding hummingbirds near Charleston, South Carolina, more than two decades ago, they would take their sugar-water feeders down each September.

Like their neighbors, they assumed the ruby-throated hummingbirds that summered in their magnolia and live oak-filled yard were about to head south to the Tropics.

But a funny thing happened about ten years ago: “I started hearing hummingbirds during the winter,” says Annabeth. “Eventually I realized there were some here all year.” Soon she began to leave one feeder up during the autumn, then another and another. Today she hangs a dozen or more feeders during the coldest months, and it is not unusual for the Proctors to have as many hummingbirds in December as they do in June.

Similar reports have come from backyards across the Southeast, piquing the curiosity of scientists and casual birders alike. Read the entire article.

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