In the article “2 Hummingbirds in Maine (Common & Rare)” by Melanie, readers will discover the two species of hummingbirds that can be found in Maine: the Ruby-throated hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird. While hummingbirds in Maine are not as abundant compared to other regions, these two species make occasional appearances in the state. The article provides detailed information about each species, including their appearance, range, and when and where they can be spotted. Readers will also find tips on attracting hummingbirds to their yards. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or simply fascinated by these tiny creatures, this article offers valuable insights into the hummingbird species found in Maine.
2 Hummingbirds in Maine (Common & Rare)
Maine may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about hummingbirds, but surprisingly, there are two species of these enchanting birds that can be found in the state. In this article, we will explore the common and rare hummingbirds in Maine, their descriptions, migration habits, and tips for attracting them to your yard.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common hummingbird species in the eastern half of the United States. These tiny birds have a green back and white underparts. Male ruby-throated hummingbirds have a vibrant ruby-red throat that can appear black in certain lighting, while females have a more subdued coloring.
These amazing creatures migrate to Maine each spring from their wintering grounds in Central America, often making a non-stop flight over the Gulf of Mexico. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are relatively easy to attract to backyards with nectar feeders and flowers. In Maine, they can be seen throughout the spring and summer months. Most of them arrive in April and May and leave in September.
The Rufous hummingbird is another species that can occasionally be spotted in Maine, although less commonly than the Ruby-throated. These hummingbirds are known for their feisty nature when it comes to sharing feeders and chasing away other hummers.
Male Rufous hummingbirds are orange all over with a white patch on the upper breast and an orange-red throat. Females, on the other hand, are green with rusty patches and a speckled throat. In the spring, they migrate through California, spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and then zip back down through the Rockies in the fall.
While the Rufous hummingbird is mainly found in the western United States, they have been occasionally sighted in the southern half of Maine during late fall and early winter. These sightings are quite rare, but they add to the excitement of birdwatching in the state.
Attracting hummingbirds to your yard
If you’re interested in attracting hummingbirds to your yard in Maine, there are several steps you can take to create an inviting habitat for these delightful birds.
Hang hummingbird feeders
One of the best ways to attract hummingbirds is by hanging nectar feeders in your yard. Hummingbirds rely on a constant source of nectar, so having a reliable feeder can make your yard a desirable stopover for them. Choose a feeder with the color red, as hummingbirds are often attracted to this color. Additionally, ensure that your feeder is easy to clean and refill, especially during hot weather when cleaning should be done more frequently.
Make your own nectar
Instead of buying commercial nectar, you can easily make your own at home. To make hummingbird nectar, mix plain white sugar with water in a 1:4 ratio (1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water). Avoid using red dyes or additives, as these can be harmful to the birds. Making your own nectar is not only cost-effective but also ensures that you’re providing a safe and healthy food source for the hummingbirds.
Plant native flowers
Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers with vibrant colors, especially red, orange, pink, and purple. Planting native flowers that bloom during the hummingbirds’ migration periods can provide them with a natural food source. Consider adding trumpet or tubular-shaped flowers to your garden, as these types of blossoms are particularly enticing to hummingbirds. Additionally, vertical planting using obelisk trellises or flat trellises can create cascading vines of flowers that hummingbirds will love.
Provide water sources
Hummingbirds also need water for drinking and bathing. While traditional bird baths may be too deep for them, you can create shallow water sources specifically designed for hummingbirds. There are various options available, from specialized hummingbird baths to DIY solutions such as small shallow bowls or plates filled with water. Just be sure to clean and refill the water regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Promote insects for protein
While nectar is the primary source of energy for hummingbirds, they also need protein in their diet. Insects, including mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders, and gnats, make up a significant portion of their diet. By avoiding the use of pesticides in your yard, you can help promote an insect-friendly environment that hummingbirds can rely on for their protein needs. Consider incorporating plants that attract insects, such as flowering herbs or native grasses, to encourage an abundant insect population.
In conclusion, Maine may not be known for its hummingbirds, but it is home to two species – the common Ruby-throated hummingbird and the occasional Rufous hummingbird. By creating a welcoming environment with nectar feeders, native flowers, water sources, and insect-friendly habitats, you can increase your chances of attracting these charming birds to your yard. Just imagine the joy of witnessing these tiny creatures flitting about, bringing a touch of vibrancy and beauty to your surroundings.