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Arlene Koch's Humnet post on her 2001 RUHU


Date: Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2002
Subject: [HUMNET-L] Ramblings on the RUHU I had last year 
    
For what it's worth --

Last year a female RUHU spent Nov 9 - 17 on our property here in eastern PA
very near the borderline between PA and Jersey. It first showed itself
shortly after noon on an abnormally warm and sunny November day. 8 days 
later it left on the same kind of day, although there were below freezing 
temps on days in-between. It used three different feeders, favoring one,
and spent a great deal of time just sitting in the middle of a pyracantha
bush which I could see from the kitchen door. However, I also observed it
doing the following away from the three feeders close to the house, and I
realize that all of these behaviors are normal ones:

Hawking for insects at the top of pine and birch trees
Doing the same around the waterfall by the creek/pond setup
Once a visitor saw it go through the cascading water
Occasionally feeding on a few remaining Salvia coccinea flowers
Sitting in the tops of a bare-branched walnut tree
Zipping around the entire house in the manner the rubythroats do when 
they're here -- nothing unusual about any of this!

One day in the middle of its visit it couldn't be found even though I 
had seen it feeding at the window at dawn, which was normal. It always fed
heavily at dawn and dusk.  Two visitors searched all morning and finally
gave [up] and went to their car, which was parked in the driveway maybe
40 feet from the closest feeder. Just by chance, as they were pulling out,
they spotted it sitting in the cover of the coral honeysuckle
(Lonicera sempervirens) covering the fence there.  Why it hadn't visited
the feeders that morning I have no idea. But it resumed its normal visits
later that day and then stayed around a few more days.

It left on a day when more people were here than at any other time during
its visit. I saw it feeding outside the kitchen door at 7:45 and that was 
it. It wasn't seen again. Maybe that had something to do with a woman who
kept standing 3 feet away from its favorite feeder even though I asked her
repeatedly not to do that. She also wanted to know if it was alone or if I
had a "flock" of hummers.

So I guess this can be chalked up as another one for the "early morning
departure" theory.

Good birding.