Hummingbirds around Ontario

by John, Mike V, Heather, Susan M, Astrid H,
(Ajax, London, Eastern Ontario, Port Stanley, Orleans)

Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

John from Ajax wrote to tell us about the little visitor to their deck ... we've been in this house for three years and always enjoy summer evenings on the deck. I was surprised and delighted recently (24th July) when a Ruby Throat flew near us - I've never seen one here before. So, excitedly, I invested $2.50 at a dollar store for two feeders and set them out with the standard 'nectar'. For three days my generosity seemed to be ignored but then one evening, a very quick sip proved to my wife that I didn't imagine my experience. Since then, we've had a number of visits and last night, 2 birds. The first had made at least 25 sips before the second bird showed up and the first one flew off. Whether the second chased the first, I don't know but that's the impression I had. I counted 21 sips for the second bird so a total visit of about 1 minute compared with just a few seconds for the previous visits. I've tried taking pictures but can't get close enough for them to show up to make anything worthwhile. But that's okay, I'll enjoy what I've been given. Next year I'll start much earlier.

Mike V from London wrote last May to say ... my wife has a day off from her essential work today. With the cold and lock-down still in effect, people seen to wake up with the "blahhs". We just spotted our 1st Green Ruby Throated humming bird at 8:00 am. The animals have spoken. Spring has sprung. Better late than never.

Heather from Eastern Ontario to say ... I had a store-bought fairly large Proven Winners lavender plant sitting on a table outside in a quiet area near my back door waiting for me to plant it in the ground. Much to my astonishment, I absent-mindedly approached the back door when I was outside and my heart almost stopped, because all of a sudden, a mostly brown looking flying creature had backed away from the lavender plant and was in hover mode figuring out his/her next move. She/he was just as startled as I was. The realization came upon me that this wasn't just a gigantic moth, when I realized it was beating it's wings at the speed of blur, had a distinctive compact body and was hovering. What an absolute delight! There isn't any lavender growing around here, so I imagine the taste of a rare treat was too much for it to resist and it risked uncertainty given that the plant was so close to the back door. A memory for a life-time - if I had wanted to I could have reached out to touch it, as we almost literally bumped into one another!

Susan Muir from Port Stanley wrote ... we were weeding our garden and while we were taking a break the smallest little bird flew in and roosted on a dead branch. I had no idea what it was. It was so small grey in colour, white under belly, little black tail, small pointed beak. Suddenly it took flight and started to hover from blossom to blossom on the Jewelweed that had taken over part of the garden. We knew then it must be a hummingbird, but it didn’t look like our typical Ruby Throat. It was also so small. Is it possible that this was a baby? This was October 05th and we live in South Western Ontario.

Astrid Hoffmann from Orleans, Ottawa asks ... could it be that I saw a Black-Chinned Hummingbird in Ottawa? I seem to have had one at my feeder on the morning of May 23. It is dark with a white ring around its neck. Would love to know! Otherwise, we currently have a pair of Ruby Throated Humming birds in our yard.

Thank you, dear readers, for writing to tell us about your Hummingbird sightings.

Perhaps one of our readers will know whether the little hummer you saw was a baby, Susan, and whether it is likely that the individual you saw at your feeder could have been a Black Chinned Hummingbird, Astrid.

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