Autumn has begun to tint a few forest leaves and the nights are getting cooler. Many of the birds have left for their winter quarters. We have enjoyed their antics all spring and summer and it is sad to notice their absence.
Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland the weather tends to stay a bit warmer than farther inland so some birds stay a while into the autumn.
Surprisingly this includes the ruby throated hummingbirds which in many areas have long since flown their tiny wings toward the south.
An old adage says to take in the hummingbird feeders by Labor Day so they will take the hint and move on but I prefer to keep them fed as long as they need it.
We noticed a few weeks ago that the hummingbirds were starting to get a little chubbier, no doubt putting on a layer of fat to help them survive the long trip to Central America
On the first of October many of the little birds have gone but a few still visit the feeder, chirp and chase each other for a little while yet. No doubt they too will be gone in another week or two. We will miss them.