It’s November and already we have seen the snows creep steadily closer with accumulations not far off. The days seem even shorter now after rolling back time earlier in the month with the light casting long dark shadows by the afternoon. The trees have become mostly barren with a few leafy blotches of gold, orange, and red desperately clinging on as if to defy the northern winds. Sweet aromas of wood fires drift lazily from chimneys filling neighborhoods. And one last glance out the window at dusk provides silhouetted images of Northern Cardinals at the bird feeders grabbing a few last minute morsels before heading to their nightly roost. The signs of winter are slowly settling in across the Great Plains.
The Ruby Throated Hummingbird arrives in the middle latitudes of the United States about the first of May and departs in October. If you live in an extensively wooded area or along a river, you may see them all summer long. Generally we can expect to have them most of May and then returning in mid August until their final departure south. One thing for certain is that a Hummingbird feeder will not stop them from migrating when the time arrives. The key to attracting them is habitat, minimal or no use of pesticides, and the types of flowers in your garden. Hummingbirds can be attracted to feeders containing artificial nectar.