In July, the female Rufous Hummingbird has fledged her first two nestlings and is just about to fledge another. The chick is now as big as its mother, making the walls of the walnut-sized nest bulge outwards at maximum capacity. It takes about 40 days to fledge each brood, from egg-laying until the young begin to fly. They learn to feed on their own through trial and error, until they finally figure out which flowers offer the best nectar. By the end of August, they will all probably have migrated south.
Rufous Hummingbirds in Summer
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Male wing-whistle and vocal chatter]
For many folks in the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and Alaska, the return of the Rufous Hummingbird in the spring is cause for celebration. The deep buzz of their arrival marks the start of summer.
[Sound of Rufous hummer zooming by]
In July, many of the fiery-red adult males have begun their migration southward. Meanwhile, the female Rufous Hummingbird has fledged her first two nestlings and is just about to fledge a second brood. The chicks are now as big as their mother, making the walls of their walnut-sized nest bulge outwards at maximum capacity.
It takes about 40 days to fledge each brood, from egg-laying until the young learn to fly. They learn to feed on their own through trial and error, until they finally figure out which flowers offer the best nectar.
Nearly all the Rufous Hummingbirds will begin their migration by late August, sipping their way south on high-mountain wildflowers, all the way to Mexico — until they whistle into our lives again in spring.
[Male Rufous Hummingbird display dive sounds]
Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
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Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. ML 73025891 recorded by Laura Gooch
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote July 2020 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# 071007RUHU4-4 RUHU-08b