Saw my FIRST Ruby-throated Hummingbird on April 12, 2014 !

003 - Ruby-th Humm w-sig


Yesterday, Saturday, April 12, was a good day! Hope you got out to enjoy it too. Clay and I went to Cape May Point to join Tom Reed in his SPRING WATCH.

The highlight for me was when Tom called out: ” HUMMINGBIRD ! ! ! “

At 8:55 a.m. Tom spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird migrating north across Delaware Bay, heading for the tip of the Cape May Peninsula. It was at the top of a cloud bank, higher than I would have expected. I was scanning like mad low over the choppy waves of Delaware Bay.

According to the first NJ sighting was on Friday, April 11. I hung 3 feeders (with only about 2 ounces in each) earlier in the week, seeing that they were already as far north as across the Delaware Bay.

We haven’t seen one in our yard   Y E T, but expect a feisty male to find our feeders and settle in by the end of this coming week or next. Our gardens are not much yet, so feeders are crucial if you hope to entice hummingbirds to settle in. Then be sure to have a jam packed garden and habitat full of native plants that bloom from early spring through fall. Too, maintain those feeders so they offer something as fresh as nectar . . . hence why you don’t fill them to the brim (since you’ll be dumping the solution at least once a week, cleaning, and partially filling with fresh solution). Oh, and NO RED DYE! It’s cancer causing, so DUH . . . who wants to do that to hummingbirds?


Join me for the following fun and informative program that I will be teaching for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May,1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204; 609-898-8848.

All About Them and How to Attract Them
(with Pat Sutton)
Saturday, April 19, 2014
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Learn where Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have they been all winter. Will more than one settle into your backyard garden? Where is the nest? What does the female use to build her tiny nest? Is bottled nectar (or red dye) needed for a feeder? What are the two reasons hummingbirds like spiders? Even if you think you know everything about these winged jewels, expect to be surprised by what you learn during this presentation by Pat Sutton, naturalist and long-time wildlife gardener. Sutton will show off an actual hummingbird nest and share essential tips on how to ready your yard so that you can be entertained by a blizzard of hummingbirds for the next five months. Before this program, download, print, and read the NJ Audubon articles by Pat Sutton: “How to Create a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden” and “Recommended Plantings to Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Moths.”
Limit: 20 participants. Preregistration is required (through NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204; 609-898-8848)
Cost: members $15, nonmembers $20
(includes handouts and FREE Tropical Salvia seeds)

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To get you jazzed, you might want to read several of my hummingbird posts from Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens:

4 Replies to “Saw my FIRST Ruby-throated Hummingbird on April 12, 2014 !”

  1. Thank you for your post on Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens today. Several years ago I was browsing the “scratch and dent” section at Lowe’s garden center and a plant fell off the shelf in front of me. I decided it really wanted to come home with me, but didn’t know what it was, didn’t have a marker, and none of the others still on the shelf had markers either. No one at Lowe’s knew what it was either. I took it home and put it in a pot that first year to see how it grew, whether it liked shade (I thought it would),and it bloomed the next spring beautifully. I put it in the ground and it is happily spreading itself around. I’ve been looking in books, in garden centers, at the Philadelphia Flower Show for several years now and you have finally identified it for me – it’s Golden Ragwort. 🙂

    1. You bet! Tickled that you acquired Golden Ragwort in such a round about way. Continue to enjoy this lovely antive shade-tolerant plant. Happy Gardening, Pat

      1. I can imagine how excited you were when you saw that humming bird. We have been waiting for quite some time, thought maybe they took a different route North.

        However, 6/6 one appeared. It did not stay long and we hope to see him/her before going South in October. Our sighting was at our home at Evans, GA.

        Eldred Codling

        1. Hi Eldred, glad a Ruby-throated Hummingbird appeared June 6th in your yard. I’m assuming you have lots of nectar and bugs for them in your yard? If so, they should find it and settle in. I’m a firm believer in “Plant it and they will come!” Good luck! Pat

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