When a hurricane passes me on or about 1 September (which is when they usually come this way), it is always followed immediately by a mass influx of southbound hummingbirds. Such post-storm swarms are much denser than the normal crowd, perhaps because the critters know it's coming and wait further north, thus creating a backlog. This year was no exception and ever since Harvey went by, I've been struggling to keep my feeders full.
Sorry for the low-quality pic but it was the best I could at the time. Taken at long range with my phone, the only option to make the birds visible at all was to shoot them against the white wall of my house. Still, this should give some idea of how thick the air is with the hungry little buggers. I have several other feeders up so the congestion around the house as a whole is amazing. Hmm, and it seems this new version of the forum software is even worse than the original about shrinking images, so I suppose you'll have to click on the link to see anything at all
<--- EDIT: Unjustly accused. It only looked way small in the input box.
Hummingbirds 2017 Fall Migration
, on Flickr
Strange to say, the ONLY thing normal about nature right now in my bailiwick is that all these hummingbirds showed up right after Harvey. Everything else is strange.
* The weather is about 10^F cooler than it should be for another month, almost fall-like.
* Leaves on many trees are already turning and falling. This normally isn't a thing until mid-October. But OTOH, these leaves appeared about 6 weeks early, too, due to a lack of winter, so maybe their biological clocks went off.
* Numerous azalea bushes are blooming pretty densely (as opposed to a few stray flowers). Normally, these bushes only bloom in early March so I have no idea what's going on with them.
* Large numbers of deer, more than we've seen in several years, are roaming around in broad daylight. Normally we don't see them in daylight until mid-winter when it's actually cold.
* Even the hummingbirds themselves aren't acting normal. They have always before spent about 1% of their time actually at the feeders and 99% fighting each other like velociraptors. Right now, however, they're lining up in an orderly manner and sharing the feeders like civilized critters, frequently with multiple birds using the same feeder hole simultaneously.
Signs and portents, surely. But of what? There are quite a few bad things on tap or in the offing which we already know about. It would be a real bummer if all this foretold something even worse we don't yet know about :)