Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's Up With the Wandering Hummers?

According to the Morning Sun, a newspaper in Mt. Pleasant, MI, a rufous hummingbird was seen this week in that part of Michigan. That's pretty amazing since rufous hummers usually hang out between Washington and Alaska. The sighting was documented by a hummingbird researcher.

For the second year in a row, an Allen's hummer was at a feeder near Knoxville, TN, in October. This was verifiable because last year the little bird was banded while in Tennessee. Allen's hummers have a very small, narrow, breeding range along the cloud-shrouded Pacific coast from southern Oregon to southern California. They have both a migratory race that winters in a small area in central Mexico and a non-migratory race that winters in California. So why is this bird in Tennessee?

In the last two months more than 60 western stray hummers have been found in Pennsylvania according to the Lehigh Valley website. Most sightings have been rufous hummingbirds that breed from the Pacific Northwest up into Alaska but there have also been three surprise species, all three of which have been found in the southeastern part of the state. A Calliope was in a backyard near Philadelphia, then on Nov. 10 a black-chinned hummingbird spent one day in a yard north of Levittown, and this week there is an Allen's in a yard near Pipersville in Bucks County.

Is it that there is a shuffling or ranges within the hummingbird world? All of these areas are in the normal ruby-throated hummingbird summer habitat. Or are we just becoming more aware of hummers? Imagine the thrill of seeing a "foreign" species in your yard outside the regular "season". What fun!

Hummingbird fact for today: Never say ALWAYS or NEVER when talking about hummingbirds!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Home Again Home Again

We are finally home again! Now we have to unpack and put away EVERYTHING - from the inventory we made while at Silver Dollar City to all the tools and supplies we had to take to make inventory to all the clothes and housewares we had to take to live away from home for 7 weeks.

We are SO greatful to Laura Koerbel for taking good care of Ozzy and Izzie, bringing in the mail, and being a neighbor and friend who goes above and beyond the call!

Two holiday shopping shows yet to do. Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield is Nov. 10-11. Then State Fair Community College in Sedalia on Dec. 1. But already we're submitting applications and hoping to get into the shows we'd like to do.

We WILL be back at the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ, the first weekend in August!!!