[CT Birds] I'm covering my eyes and ears as I send this

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Mar 29 20:51:41 EDT 2012

But I'm peeking!
It's relevant to the discussions of early arrivals.
Here's the link that all the data referred to below can be accessed  
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Allen Chartier  <amazilia3 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 2:02 PM
Subject:  [birders] RE: Michigan hummingbird arrivals - detailed reply
To:  birders at umich.edu


I apologize for waiting 10 days to  reply to your detailed questions
about Michigan hummingbird arrivals, but I'm  in day 20 of a
respiratory infection and have also been trying to get all my  bird
surveys done despite feeling bad (I don't get paid if I don't  survey).
I've also been distracted with comments by a Massachussetts  blogger
who discounted all the March hummingbird reports in the Midwest  and
New England, heavily criticizing the www.hummingbirds.net  website
which, oddly, he appears never to have encountered before despite  it
being in operation since 1996. It appears that he didn't want to  be
confused by the facts about this website, its data sources,  record
vetting procedures, and photos supporting some records. Or, perhaps  he
purposely avoided sending an email query to the owner of that  site
because his own fact free version posted to his blog helps promote  his
personal agenda better.

Anyway, on to the Michigan data. As you  might know, I've been posting
Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrival maps since  2001, and added detailed
data tables in 2003. More than half of my reports  comes from
www.hummingbirds.net, which consists of about 99% non-birders, but  are
thousands of people who are very devout about feeding  their
hummingbirds. I have posted the annual arrival maps and data tables  to
my website here:  http://www.amazilia.net/MIHummerNet/ObsData.htm.

If you go through each  year's data, you will see that over the years
(2003-2011) there have been a  total of 11 March reports in Michigan. I
have not been able to confirm a  Ruby-throat from any of those 11, but
a couple were confirmed by the  homeowners as unidentified hummingbirds
(I follow up on EVERY report before  April 15 even though
hummingbirds.net does this too) and a couple were  claimed to be
Ruby-throats but no photos were taken. So the difference this  year is
that there are 18 reports in March instead of a maximum of 2. And  this
year I feel confident in confirming 6 of those reports as  Ruby-throats
(the earliest on March 18) and six others as unidentified  hummingbirds
(see the 2012 data for these reports).

It was my intent  to tally spring arrivals after 10 years of data,
which will be completed in  2012. But your inquiry about "bell curves"
spurred me to tally the data now  :-) I have produced bar charts for
each year (2003-2011), and a composite of  all these years combined. It
is interesting to look at the year-to-year  variations, and you can
look at these graphs by clicking on the "Annual  Spring Arrival Graphs"
on the data site above. You can see that almost every  year sees birds
in mid-April but with the real peak occurring around May 5-10  except
for one year (2009) there was a large peak the last week of  April.

P.S. I must take exception to your comments about population  centers
and implying there aren't any in places like Tennessee. Maybe  you
haven't been to Nashville, Knoxville, or Gatlinburg in  summer
(yikes!)? And, actually there seem to be very few people in  Detroit
who put out hummingbird feeders while there are quite a few in  Oxford!
Allen T. Chartier
Inkster, Michigan
Email:  amazilia3 at gmail.com
Website: www.amazilia.net
Blog:  http://mihummingbirdguy.blogspot.com/

On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at  6:56 PM, KALUZA, FRED <fk2751 at att.com> wrote:
> Allen, when  Hummers move through a region, what is the nature of their “
curve”? Is it  bell-shaped? What’s the standard deviation? Plus or minus 
five days or five  weeks?
> I might venture a guess that like other  bird species, there are some 
that are driven so hard to find choice nest sites,  they move up north at their 
own peril often finding nothing but snowflakes where  others will find food 
in a month. Then there may be others that are old and  never even attempt 
another northward trek and stay south until they  die.
> I can believe that first arrivals could  have been missed by people in 
more sparsely populated climes only to be detected  by people in more densely 
populated places like  Detroit.
> What would be harder to believe would  be the reverse as in if they were 
missed by everyone in Detroit only to be seen  by someone in Oxford for 
> I’m thinking  that the people in Tennessee (being less densely populated 
by observers) may  actually be seeing something more like the rise to the 
peak and not really the  single outliers on the leading edge. For best 
detection of first incoming you’d  want your densest sensor placement at the 
outermost perimeter right? Just a  thought.
> Fred  Kaluza
> AT&T Mobility Regulatory Compliance  E911
> IWOS NP&E RAN E911-MW, IN & Detroit
>  16025 Northland Dr.
> Southfield, MI 48075
> Office  248.395.2992
> Fax 248.395.0176 or 248.395.0342
>  Mobile 313.980.3002
> From:  Allen Chartier [mailto:amazilia3 at gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, March 19, 2012  5:38 PM
> To: birders at umich.edu
> Subject: [birders] Michigan  hummingbird arrivals
> Hummingbird  enthusiasts,
> As I have for perhaps the past 10  years, I intend to map and list in a 
table the spring arrivals of Ruby-throated  Hummingbirds in Michigan on my 
website (page is not ready yet!). The earliest  confirmed Ruby-throated 
Hummingbird record is April 1, 2010. In some years I get  reports of "glimpsed" 
hummingbirds in late March. This year, I have already  received three such 
reports of unconfirmed species from March 17! In order to  confirm a 
hummingbird in March in Michigan, I'd really like to see a photo, for  a couple of 
reasons. First, the leading edge of Ruby-throated Hummingbird  migration seems 
to currently be in southern Tennessee, based on my favorite  source for 
this: www.hummingbirds.net/map.html. Second, it has been the best  season in 
several years for overwintering western hummingbird species,  especially Rufous 
but also including good numbers of Calliope and small numbers  of at least 
four other species, from New England south to Florida and west to  
Louisiana. Any one of these could possibly pass through Michigan on its way back  to 
the breeding grounds, though we only have one confirmed spring record for  
Rufous so far.
> So, what I'm recommending this  year is for those in southern Michigan to 
put your feeders out NOW, and keep  your camera handy by the window sill. 
My typical advice when asked (which is  quite a lot) is April 15 but it 
appears the weather pattern is set for warming  not cooling. In northern 
Michigan, you might want to consider putting your  feeders out in mid-April this 
year. We might not have a better chance to confirm  a March hummingbird for 
some time. And, I am following my own advice, and put  out two hummingbird 
feeders just this afternoon. But I'm not putting my snow  shovel into the 
basement yet either. This is Michigan, after all  :-)
> --
> Allen T. Chartier
>  Inkster, Michigan
> Email: amazilia3 at gmail.com
>  Website: www.amazilia.net
> Blog:  http://mihummingbirdguy.blogspot.com/
Don Morgan

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