Start a Hummingbird Garden
Sharing their Midwest expertise
The Rocks pass along their 10 years of expertise by hosting a hummingbird gardening website and by giving community presentations. They've learned a lot over the years about hummingbird habits in the Midwest.
Although there are 300 kinds of hummingbirds, the ruby-throated (left) is the only one common throughout the Midwest. The tiny birds arrive here in May and June, then leave gardens to build nests in isolated forest areas. As soon as mating is over, in early July, the males begin to migrate because they play no role in raising the young. Females head south after their offspring learn to fly.
"We see an increase in the number of hummingbirds beginning in early August," Kathi says. "Our peak time in Madison is traditionally mid-September. By then, most of the adult males are gone, and we're seeing female and immature birds almost exclusively."