Going back to this past spring at Flower Hill Farm . . . a solitary male Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrives ahead of the female . . . he will tirelessly defend his territory from other males. After he mates, he is fancy-free in the gardens the entire spring and summer, for he does not lift a feather to help his partner in the raising of their young.
As early as mid July or August, the adults depart on their lone journey south . . . weeks before their juvenile hummingbirds take leave of the gardens. Our terrace garden offers a good supply of nectar to fuel their humming motor-motion and there is an abundance of insects, within the gardens and surrounding fields, to build up the needed fat in their tiny bodies . . . so important in enabling them to successfully make the long trip south.
As the daylight hours shrink in September, something alerts the immature hummingbirds to begin their southward trek. Off on an adventure never known, they may repeat it year after year throughout their lives.