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Q

What can you tell me about the possibility of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds lingering through the winter in the Deep South?

A In recent years there have been many, many records of over-wintering hummingbirds from the Texas coast to Florida. Very few of these are Ruby-Throats. Almost all the winter hummingbirds in the southeast come from the west. The most common and the most likely species is Rufous, but others are possible. These include Black-Chinned, Calliope and a few others. For some unknown reason the Buff-Bellied Hummingbird of Mexico and extreme south Texas has been occurring regularly in Louisiana and neighboring states. A high percentage of these winter hummingbirds have been banded by Bob Sargent, who is from Alabama, and Nancy Newfield, who is from the New Orleans area.

An odd fact about these winter hummers is that they often don't show up at people's feeders and flower gardens until late November or early December.  This leaves a strange gap of about two months when no one can figure out where they are.

If you want to keep up with the latest news about winter hummingbirds, subscribe to HUMNET-L. Instructions on how to do this are in our Resources and Links . Go there and click on "Discussion Groups."

-- Larry & Terrie

 

 

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