In Arizona, Jessie Hendricks is particularly devoted to hummingbirds. His home lies on the migration routes of several species. The Black-chinned is one of the most common.
In the spring they travel up from Mexico on their way to nest as far north as Montana and British Columbia. Then in autumn he sees them again on their way back to their winter quarters in the warmth of the South.
Some of them have been fitted with leg rings so he knows that the same birds visited him each year to drink from the same feeder. It’s possible that many now vary their routes to make sure that they pay a call on such a reliable restaurant.
At the height of the migration he may be visited in a single day by about nine thousand different birds. And everyday, he provides his customers with over thirty gallons of sugar water.
Meals like these must surely make the difference between life and death for so many of the little Rufus humming birds which are leaving Jessie’s fuel station, have still to tackle the last stage of their two thousand mile migration. Across the bay of Mexico in one single six hundred mile non-stop flight.