The chase is on! Juvenile hummingbirds are here! 8-8-16

August 08, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been actively feeding from the feeders and from flowers all season long.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-6-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-6-16 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-6-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-6-16

 

As soon as the calendar turned to August, we noticed a big increase in activity at the feeders and in the garden. The young birds were hitting the Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis).

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-6-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-6-16

 

They found the first blooms that were opening on the Blue Sage (Salvia azurea).

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) 8-7-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) 8-7-16

 

The same goes for the single bloom in the patch of Eastern Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa)

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Eastern Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa) 8-7-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Eastern Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa) 8-7-16

 

The Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia submentosa) has also been attracting them.  

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia submentosa) 8-7-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia submentosa) 8-7-16

 

It has been a real blur of activity at times!

 

Chasing hummingbirds in the garden 8-8-16Chasing hummingbirds in the garden 8-8-16

 

They find perches to rest on and protect their little patch, like this bird on the branch of a Black Cherry (Prunus serotina).

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-8-16

 

Then, they are back at any flower they can get to before another bird chases them away.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-8-16

 

Like all youngsters, they need a little rest when they start to tire out. This bird clings to the leaf for support.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird perches on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird perches on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-8-16

 

It takes a breather on a shady stem close by.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird rests on stem 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird rests on stem 8-8-16

 

The lightly fragrant Marsh or Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) plants did very well last year and now there are a dozen groupings of them throughout the garden. They have become a favorite of the young birds.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16

 

The bright red spot on its throat identifies this bird as a juvenile male.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16

 

The Marsh Milkweed has constant visits by other pollinators, such as bumblebees.

 

Bumblebee on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-4-16Bumblebee on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-4-16

 

This Red-spotted Purple butterfly has been sipping on them.

 

Red-spotted Purple Butterfly on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16Red-spotted Purple Butterfly on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16

 

My first sighting this year of a Giant Swallowtail butterfly was also at Marsh Milkweed.

 

Giant Swallowtail on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16Giant Swallowtail on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16

 

Tiger Swallowtails have been nectaring on the milkweeds, too.

 

Tiger Swallowtail on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16Tiger Swallowtail on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-8-16

 

And the other day, there was a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth finding a sweet meal. 

 

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16Hummingbird Clearwing Moth on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-6-16

 

Still no sighting here of a Monarch, but with all the food available in our garden, they surely will arrive soon!

 


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