Do Hummingbirds Remember?

Has this scenario ever happened to you. You were a little negligent in getting your hummingbird feeders cleaned, filled, and hung up outside after a long winter? Were the hummingbirds looking at you through your front window with pitiful looks on their little faces? Or in the case with my own hummingbirds, they would hover in the exact location where I’ve hung my feeders for the past several years. One in my front yard tree, another from the eaves of my front porch, and one more hanging from a shepherds hook in my perennial garden, also in my front yard.

So my question is, do they remember where feeders were hung from previous years? And if they were the same pair of hummingbirds that would make sense, however how would one find out if they were the same pair. And if they are different birds how would they know that hummingbird feeders were hanging there at one time?

I would watch (feeling quite guilty by the way) as they hovered either under the tree, or under the eaves looking for my feeders. I never noticed this behavior before since I normally get my feeders up in the early part of April, which is just about right for their arrival in my part of Ohio. It’s usually a male and female who claim my yard as their own, plus the romantic in me want to think it’s the same pair I’ve had for several years. Which would explain why they were looking for their feeders. I felt like a bad owner of a pet dog or cat.

But now their happy, chasing each other around the yard and posing for some photo-ops.

IMG_2766From her perch in our Serviceberry Tree.

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3 responses to “Do Hummingbirds Remember?

  1. I saw a male Ruby-throated hummers mating dance. He did a wide U shaped flight back and forth at rocket speed. You should have seen our necks following it. Here is a site you can report your first sighting on http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

  2. I love to watch these little beauties.

  3. Your post nicely captures some of my same thoughts and experiences with these great birds. I’ll bet they are the same or offspring of the same birds year after year. I’m always trying to photograph them in flight to and from the feeder. You have to be real lucky.

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