This information may be totally irrelevant, but when we needed
to watch a feeder for a Plain-capped Starthroat in Arizona, a self-proclaimed
expert advised us that our chances were best early in the morning and late in
the afternoon. His wisdom was that hummingbirds get protein from insects in
flowers, and the Starthroat was probably visiting flowers and/or roosting
somewhere in the shade during the day but would fuel up at the feeder at the
beginning and end of each day.
We followed his advice and, sure enough, the Starthroat showed
late in the afternoon.
If the Arizona guy's hypothesis is correct, why are
there so many Rubythroats around during the day? I once watched my feeder very
closely for most of a day. I thought I had one male and one female using it. By
the day's end, I had identified 10 separate individuals using the feeder -- two
males (which chased each other) and 8 immatures and/or females, which I
disdinguished from one another by subtle differences (e.g. one individual had a
few tiny red gorget spots). The Rubytroats that are around during the day may
represent a much larger number, some of whom are off pursuing insects during or
resting the day.
If the Broad-tailed is still around, he may by now have worked
out a route that still takes advantage of Bill Rowe's offering, but may also
include other sources -- both flower and sugar water.
Are there any other feeders in the neighborhood? How
about Trumpet Creeper flowers?