HUMMINGBIRDS PASSING THROUGH TEXAS
Late summer into early fall is the peak of migration. About 75% of all the hummingbirds in the eastern half of the US migrate through Texas. Out of 18 total species in the US, there are only two abundant species that nest in the east. They are the ruby throated and the black chinned, with the ruby throated being the most abundant. When I lived in Coppell I had only black chinned all year long. Here in McKinney I have just the ruby throated. They both spend the winter south of the border.
The number of birds migrating south may be twice that of the northward trip, since it includes all immature birds that hatched during the summer, as well as surviving adults. That is why people are seeing so many. It is important to leave the feeders up as long as possible. Many of these birds fly non-stop, 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico, an 18-22 hour trip. They have to double their fat reserves to make this trip so they need all the help we can give them. - Tony Manasseri.
Photos by Brian Tomes.