Rufous Hummers and the Straits of Juan de Fuca

Francis G. Smith francis at
Tue Mar 19 08:09:36 PST 2002

Dear Tweeters:
A rufous hummer showed up this last snowy, cold weekend at my feeder on the
southern tip of San Juan Island. I often speculate about the over-water
route the hummers take to get to our island. The Straits of Juan de Fuca
presents approximately 20 miles of open, often windy salt water for the
little guys to negotiate before landfall. I know that they make significant
over-water flights as a part of their migration patterns but wonder if more
localized crossings are made under the same set of biological factors. It
is easy to imagine a rufous hummingbird meandering from neighborhood to
neighborhood (on land) before settling down to a territory, but what about
an island like San Juan? Do the San Juan Island hummers head here
deliberately or do they end up here by happenstance?

Best regards,
Francis Smith
San Juan Island

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