I began the Great Lakes HummerNet project, in part, so that I might understand the population cycles of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in Michigan. Most bird species undergo population cycles, and I suspect that hummingbirds are no different. It also seems that centers of abundance may shift from year to year, so that for every location that has less, there is one that has more. This year, in my own yard, I had only seen a single adult male Ruby-throat at my feeders until the thunderstorms came through today when another male, and my first female of the year, was seen. This is extraordinarily late for my first female. And, some of the comments I've been receiving indicate that perhaps some of the declines are more serious than other years. There might be something going on. But, I don't have an answer on that yet.
I would appreciate it if you could share your story about hummingbird numbers this June by either posting your comment to this blog, or sending me an e-mail directly (email@example.com). Please provide your location as part of your story (Michigan locations only please). I'll compile the results in some manner and post something on it later. In the meantime, you might enjoy a photo taken last week by Bob Anderson, who feeds hummingbirds in Marenisco, Gogebic County, in the far western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My best guess is that there are 65 hummingbirds in this photo, mostly males. If you're missing some hummingbirds this year, I don't have them, but maybe Bob does!