Don’t blink. You might miss out on a quick treat.
September is usually the season for those little speedy creatures. That is when thousands pass through the Coastal Bend here in South Texas on their way to warmer places beyond the border of Texas and Mexico. Depending on the weather here, they can arrive here as early as July and some late migrants can be found into November.
The other day while I was out jogging I saw several ruby-throated ones visiting various flowers. Boy, not only was I feeling super slow next to these guys, but I was also amazed that so many were still around this late in the year.
What can we do to get them to relax and stay awhile? Well, to get them to relax is not happening. To get them to stay awhile will be a pit stop, at best. Since many of these quick-moving creatures pass right through our neighborhoods like little trick-or-treaters in the Coastal Bend, we can offer them a treat. Sugar water feeders are a way to feed them as a substitute for nectar which will help them boost their fat reserves for migration.
Another way to encourage pits stops by our fast-moving feathered friends is to have some of their favorite plants in the yard. They enjoy yards with trees because the trees provide shelter and protection. Plants and trees attract bugs which are a source of protein for these high energy fliers. Also they love plants with bell or trumpet shaped flowers. They seem to like hibiscus and honeysuckle. Other plants they like are milkweed, butterfly bush, salvia and lantana.
Just like little trick-or-treaters, they like little treats from us too.
So get outside and try to see these speedy little things while you still can because they will be here today and adios to Mexico mañana.