Living along the Central Flyway bird migration route has its perks, and those perks are pretty evident in the fall months; especially for those that love our little feathered friend the hummingbird. Every year sees the incredible fall migration of a multitude of birds including shorebirds and raptors, but the main attraction has to be the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Thousands of the buzzing and energetic fliers flock to the Rockport and Fulton coastline on their yearly migration from their northern summer homes to their winter getaways in southern climes and they love to call in to our fantastic city for a pit stop on their journey… and why not? Who doesn’t love Rockport and Fulton?
Rockport and Fulton will celebrate the 27th anniversary of the HummerBird Festival this year from September 17-20, 2015 featuring an abundant array of activities, events and of course, hummingbirds. While the star of this spectacular migration has always been the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, other varieties of hummers have been known to frequent our backyard feeders, flowers and shrubs along their incredible journey including Black-chinned, Buff-bellied and Rufous Hummingbirds.
Throughout festival, area residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to partake in a variety of activities and events that celebrate not only the hummingbirds that visit the area, but all migratory birds that use the Rockport Fulton community as a pit-stop on their voyages to winter homes. Some of the events that take place include guided self-guided tours of homes that have set up feeders to attract hummers, as well as boat trips to visit Goose Island, classes in photography and bird identification. Several keynote speakers including Kevin Karlson, renowned birder and published wildlife photographer, as well as Kevin Gains and Sky Kings Falconry will offer demonstrations and education about the area’s migratory birds, raptors and wildlife. Events are held at a variety of locations throughout the community and at an assortment of times. For more information on schedules, locations and fees, contact the event organizers directly or visit their webpage.
Here’s a few of our top tips to attract hummingbirds to your yard during this year’s fall migration:
- Create your own nectar by combining 1 part cane sugar with 4 parts water. Boil gently for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and store in the fridge until ready to use
- Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or dye to your homemade nectar. Artificial sweeteners can injure hummingbirds and the effects of food coloring or dyes haven’t been properly tested.
- Only fill your feeder about halfway and replace the nectar every 3-4 days as it will spoil if left too long, especially during warm weather
- The color red attracts hummingbirds so tying a brightly colored ribbon or fabric on or near your feeder will go a long way to attract hummingbirds
- Plant hummingbird friendly flowers, shrubs and trees around your Rockport real estate and you’ll naturally attract not only hummingbirds but butterflies as well as they both tend to feed on the same plants
- Be patient! Even though there may be hundreds if not thousands of hummers buzzing around this time of year, it may take them a while to find your particular feeder (especially if there’s lots of competition from neighbors and flowering plants). Eventually, they’ll find your feeder an provide plenty of photo opportunities and hours of enjoyment