Ask the Experts: Hummingbird Behavior Explained 

If your yard has flowers or feeders, a hummingbird may stay around even without a nest. Her behaviour will indicate whether she is nesting or raising young.  

If she's incubating eggs, she'll stay on the nest and only eat rarely. When establishing a nest or nursing tiny nestlings, she travels frequently.  

Ruby-throat males do amazing shuttle displays during hummingbird courting. He makes a loud whirring noise as he quickly zooms in a shallow arc with his throat feathers puffed out.  

This performance is normally geared at a female hummingbird, but she may be hard to identify if she's hiding in a tree or shrub and watching.  

Several variables may contribute. Some studies have reported somewhat more females than males in mature ruby-throated hummingbirds.  

Males behave differently too. They hover higher to watch for rivals and visit feeders briefly, whereas females spend more time at feeders to raise young alone.   

In late July, young hummers, which appear like adult females, outweigh adult males. It could be a strange feeder coincidence.

It varies by location. The South and Pacific Coast may have hummingbirds all winter. Northern hummingbirds may disappear by October.  

The Only Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe You Need 

Also See