It’s September and I am sitting at my desk looking out into the courtyard where I have a hummingbird feeder. I’ve seen one hummingbird off and on all summer, but today the air seems full of the little hummers as they dart from bloom to feeder and then to another bloom. They look so fragile and gentle, but this belies their strength.
Each year about this time they migrate for thousands of miles to reach their winter feeding grounds. They notice the light levels from the sun to judge when they need to begin overeating to store energy for their long flights. They increase their weight by 25-40 percent and can often be seen fighting each other for food opportunities. They travel independently rather than in flocks as do most birds. Hummingbirds migrate during the day flying low to the ground searching for food then they rest throughout the night.
I will miss these tiny creatures when they depart, but as sure as the world is standing they will return in the spring.