Where do hummingbirds go during a hurricane?

Irene is dying out over northern New England. Most of the worst-case scenarios seem not to have occurred, though there has been a great deal of damage and flooding regardless. The hurricane in New England made me think of the book Time of Wonder, by Robert McCloskey, about summer life on a small island in Penobscot Bay. Just before the end, a hurricane blows through, sending the family indoors for a night of board games, storytelling, and hymn-singing by the light of a kerosene lantern. The book closes with these lines, as they pack up to leave at the end of the summer:

It is time to reset the clock from the rise and fall of the tide, to the come and go of the school bus. Pack your bag and put in a few treasures…A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little bit glad about the place you are going. It is a time of quiet wonder – for wondering, for instance: Where do hummingbirds go in a hurricane?

I can’t say that question has ever kept me up at night, but I have wondered about it from time to time. Well, it seems that the question now has an answer. See the photo below, taken by Chuck at his parents’ house in Greenville, NC, during the storm:

Just chillin' at the feeder during the hurricane. No biggie.

Apparently, hummingbirds go wherever the hell they want during a Hurricane.

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3 Responses to Where do hummingbirds go during a hurricane?

  1. Mom says:

    This is a big relief! A day before Irene here on Little Deer Isle, Maine (in sight of Robert McCloskey’s Scott Island), a male ruby throat got into the house and needed rescue via a sauce pan and piece of cardboard. He looked fine on release, but when Irene hit the next day I was feeling a little sorry about all the stress. Glad to know he was probably just going about his business. . . .

  2. Emily says:

    Those little hummers are amazingly tough! As part of their yearly southward migration, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fly non-stop over open water for 500 miles, across the Gulf of Mexico. To have enough energy to make it, they double their body mass (usually around 3 grams).

    Also, this bird tackled the hurricane head on:

  3. Marcia Emerson says:

    Guess they do what comes naturally during a hurricane; they rule the roost in my back yard! The scout has joined my flock this year and he is very handsome. Hurricane Francis had them in hiding today.

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