Have you noticed a guest in your garden?

The Weather Authority

Hummingbird in Huntsville (Image: Ramona Edwards)

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Now that spring is well underway ruby-throated hummingbirds are returning to Alabama! The height of breeding season for the ruby-throated hummingbird is Mid-May, so now is a good time to keep an eye out for one in your garden.

The birds migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter and then start heading north again during spring. Many of the birds will migrate even further north than Alabama, but they will nest here during breeding season.

You might notice the birds in your garden don’t have the ruby throat they’re named after. That’s because the bright red throat is signature to males, but the females are the ones that will nest and take care of the eggs. A female hummingbird will make a nest slightly smaller than a golf ball out of spider’s webbing and moss.

Setting up a feeder can help you attract them. Homemade nectar is easy to make by boiling 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of sugar. Make sure you keep your feeder clean, so your winged friends stay healthy. Bright colored feeders or feeders near flowers will be the most enticing.

If your garden doesn’t attract any nesting birds, you can still keep your feeders up for when their next migration. The ruby-throated hummingbird will migrate south again from late July through the fall. This is usually the time Alabama sees the most hummingbird activity.

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