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The BestNest.com Newsletter offers fascinating content on backyard birding and wildlife conservation as well as information about upcoming specials, additional online content, and new product offerings.

We have many products currently on sale. The products below are just a few!

Duncraft Royal 4" Cage Masterpiece Feeder
Sale $109.95
Aspects HummZinger Excel, 16 oz
Sale $17.95
Heath Aluminum 12-room Deluxe Martin House
Sale $59.95
Heartwood Bat Haven
Sale $69.95
Misty Bird Bath - Green, 24"
Sale $294.95
Squirrel Buster II Squirrel Proof Feeder w/ Cardinal Ring
Sale $62.95

We are very excited about the new products we have to offer this month. We have recently added many new products, the products below are just a few!

"In July" by Terry Donsen Feder
Now $39.95
Pavilion Fly-thru Bird Feeder
Now $59.95
The Original Birdhouse Book
Now $12.95
Parasol Dew Drop Hummingbird Feeder, Spiderweb Blue
Now $39.95
Blossom Hummingbird Feeder w/ Garden Stake, Aquamarine
Now $49.95
Lantern Feeder
Now $34.95

The ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the most popular birds to feed and watch in the United States. Many people are mesmerized by their colorful plumage, acrobatic flying, and diminutive size. It is the predominant hummingbird seen in the eastern half of the United States and Canada. Typically, most people never see any of the other 15 species of hummingbirds outside of the West Coast. This article takes a brief look at the migration of the ruby-throated hummingbird and when you can expect to see them back at your feeder.

Ruby-throated hummingbird migration most likely originated from the lack of suitable food during the winter months. While that may not sound surprising, many people would be incorrect in thinking that the lack of blooming flowers in the winter caused the hummingbirds to migrate south. The real reason was lack of insects! Nectar only makes up about fifty percent of a hummingbirds diet; it gives them the energy to catch the small insects that provide them with the protein they need to survive. Since many of the insects they depend on are not available in subfreezing temperatures, they migrate to Central and South America during North America’s fall and winter months.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds begin their northward migration between late February and mid-May. Unlike many migratory birds, the ruby-throated hummingbird does not travel in flocks. It is a solitary bird most of its life, with exception to breeding and bearing young. However, it has been seen traveling with other types of birds. This may be the source of the popular myth that hummingbirds travel on the backs of Canadian geese during migration. While that is untrue, the average hummingbird does travel about 20 miles per day by itself on its northward migration. Their flight path tends to follow the availability of flowering plants, and they typically return to a location relatively close to their birthplace. Each hummingbird has its own internal schedule and map, so individual arrivals will vary significantly. Yet, most will arrive back between the months of April and May. See the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds 2002 Migration Map.

Because of the varied arrival schedules, it is best to have your feeder out in early spring. If a hummingbird returns and there is no available nectar, it may permanently move to a different area in search of more readily available food. It is also important to keep the feeder full during their stay, as they consume about half of their body weight in nectar every day and will quickly seek out new sources of nectar if none is close by. Nectar mix can be purchased or made by simply dissolving 1 part sugar into 4 parts water. The nectar in the feeder should be changed every 3-4 days, and should always be clean and clear. If the nectar is cloudy, it should be changed as soon as possible.

There are many types of feeders available; however, most fall into two categories: bottle- type and dish-type. Bottle-type feeders are simply a bottle turned upside down, which sends the nectar into a small dish or tube. If you are using a bottle feeder with a tube, it is important that you fill the bottle completely full when refilling. If only filled partially, it will not be able to create the vacuum that prevents the nectar from dripping out of the tube. Bottle-type feeders come in all shapes and sizes, from a soda bottle turned upside down to a colorful hand-blown glass works of art. Dish-type feeders are basically a covered dish with feeding ports built into the cover. While usually not as ornate as some bottle-type feeders, dish-type feeders can typically feed more birds at one time and seldom have any issues with dripping. They often have other useful features, such as nectar guards and insect moats built into the design. These features can prevent or discourage bees, wasp, ants, and other insects from using the feeder.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will start their southward migration as early as mid-July, though most will leave between late August and late September. Many people will leave their feeders out through late fall and early winter, as they may have many visitors that will stop by their feeders to refuel before continuing their journey. If you are in need of a new hummingbird feeder, there are currently 60 different feeders available at BestNest.com. We also offer hummingbird nectar mix and several books about hummingbirds. Special thanks to Lanny Chambers at www.hummingbirds.net for information about hummingbird migration and the migration map used for this article.

CONGRATULATIONS to Toni Clark who just won a new Avant Garden Cobblestone Hanging Birdbath! To claim your prize, please send an email to customerservice@bestnest.com and include your address information and telephone number. We may follow-up with a phone call to verify your address information and identity. Congratulations!

Next issue, our winner will receive a new:
Opus Expeditions Copper Hummingbird Feeder

As a subscriber to the BestNest.com Newsletter, you will be automatically entered into our drawing for free BestNest.com merchandise. Every issue, we will announce a new winner in our newsletter. The winner will be announced by First and Last name and must claim the prize within 30 days of notification. For more information about our giveaway, please visit http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/bnmail.asp .

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