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      Nature Report: Annual Hummingbird Migration

      It's the peak of the hummingbird migration across South Texas and feeders are being swarmed.

      Every fall, thousands of hummingbirds migrate thru the area on their way south for the winter.

      There are so many at times, that it can be very difficult for them to find a place to alight.

      Swarming like bees, the diminutive birds are constantly chattering and challenging one another for a spot at the buffet.

      There are several different species that migrate thru Deep South Texas and the ruby-throated and buff-bellied are the most common.

      Almost as soon as this female ruby-throat completes refueling, a buff-belly lands to take her place.

      The larger buff-bellied hummingbirds are somewhat more dominant at the feeder, and this one enjoys a long satisfying drink.

      The buff-bellied is a tropical hummer and most do not stray north of South Texas.

      Some reside year round in the Rio Grande Valley, while others will migrate into Mexico.

      Many of the ruby-throated hummingbirds will migrate an incredible 2,000 miles or more from the northern states and down into southern Mexico.

      Blooming plants, small insects and available sugar water feeders are crucial sources of nutrition.

      The successful completion of their migration will include a 500 mile nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan peninsula.

      Rest and refueling are of paramount importance during the hummer's brief visit to South Texas.

      A nearby tip of a thorny yucca provides a handy perch, but the hummingbirds don't alight for long.

      Before the sharp tip stops quivering, another hummer lands to rest.

      With their glittering plumage and acrobatic flight, the annual migration of hummingbirds is a spectacular fall tradition in southernmost Texas.