Prepare Now for Exciting Fall Hummingbirds
Last evening, I went for a walk to a local pond with my husband and dog. Once there, we spotted a strange black duck unlike any I have ever seen. We noted many interesting features--black feet, a mottled bill, a white patch on the neck and chest, and the curled tail feathers I associate with a male Mallard. We discussed the possibilities--a bird brought in from the ocean with the latest hurricane, an unusual migrant, or a hybrid. I returned early this morning with my binoculars and trustworthy copy of Peterson's. Not in the book. Once back home, I scoured the internet to discover that we had observed a Black Swedish Duck, which is a well-known commercial duck.

This time of year, you never know what you'll see coming through. Songbirds, waterfowl, and even hummingbirds can cross your yard during the migration. Unfortunately, many hummingbirds, especially males, become territorial about their favorite feeder. A single male will often defend his favorite feeder, chasing away the less-dominant birds. During migration, ample nectar is often the key to survival. As a bird-lover, you need to be especially observant at this critical time of year.

If you notice any of your birds becoming territorial, hang another feeder at least 10 feet from the first. Equally critical during a warm fall, such as this one, keep all feeders up at least four weeks after you observe the last hummingbird. For several years, hummingbirds have been observed year-round in North Carolina--both Ruby Throated and Anna's!

"Hummingbirds are small angels of fleeting joy." - Anonymous

Be prepared for your moment of joy and that opportunity to observe a rare bird during this fall's migration. Make sure you pick up an additional hummingbird feeder today! 

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