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Hummingbirding versus SnowBirding... Seasons

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Everyone understands SnowBirding.  When the snow flies to the northern States... the snowbirds head toward the Southern States.

Hummingbirding is the opposite.  When we are sizzling in the Mohave Desert in Nevada... we head to the High Country.  Elevations of the Rocky Mountains provide wonderful days and cool evenings.  Hummingbirds do the same... they head into the high country during the summer months.

The mountains of Colorado are packed with RV's wanting to get out of the Midwest and other humid areas of the country.  When the high country humidity is lower than the age of your RV or Trailer... you understand the Air Temperature and Sunshine are wonderful in dry climates.  You can be skiing the 12,000 foot runs in Colorado in the Winter... but when the sun comes out, anything higher than your ski boot is warm enough to shed your jacket and... maybe a sweater.  No kidding.  Try it, you will like it.

We have migrated like Hummingbirds into the High Country during the Summer months to camp.  Usually 4800 feet the comfort zone appears.  Hot days, Cool evenings.  Great for sleeping.  Get into the Mile High to 8,000 feet just perfect with a long sleeve shirt in the morning and peel clothes off by 11 AM.  Higher elevations can be warm during the day, but below freezing at night.  Experience will make you a good judge of what to expect.

For 'Flat Landers' living at Sea Level to 2000 feet elevation... avoid getting into the 8,000 feet and higher elevations until your lungs get adapted to the thinner air and less oxygen.  If you do not believe me... get up to 10,000 feet or higher... do some hiking... and your headache will be more than you can handle.  You will want to get DOWN into lower elevations quicker and as soon as possible.  When I say 'headache', I cannot describe it... but you will understand immediately.

Some who travel up and down in elevations in the Rocky Mountains rarely have this oxygen and headache issue.  Those coming from Kansas City at 800 to 1000 feet elevation to Leadville, Colorado at 10,000 feet and want to walk around town... might understand.  If you do not get the headache and nausea... great.  You may be in excellent physical condition.  Most... ooooh  eeeee.  Not good for you.

So, you Hummingbirding RV'ers / Trailer Campers... enjoy this switch in directions during the Seasons.  Out West... Elevation is what you seek.  If you want Climate Change... check the elevation of where you want to go.  Check the local temperature highs and lows.  Expect low humidity, thin air, lots of sunshine... and even in July you can be caught in a Snowstorm, Hard Freeze and the next day back to... normal.  Only a Hummingbird understands that you must be prepared for about anything.

Out in the Rocky Mountains the towns and cities are in the valleys.  For obvious reasons. When towns are far and few... winters can get nasty, as can late Fall and early Spring.  Weather will dictate your staying in the 'banana belt' valleys... and when to venture into Hummingbird county.  Also... bring some Hummingbird feeders.  The young birds will land on your hand to taste an apple you are eating, or actually taste your... nostrils.  New Mexico has lots of Hummingbirds in Trailers and those coming north from Central America.

When you Living the Life of a Hummingbird... you are one happy, camper!

Any suggestions from fellow Hummingbirds?  We stay west of the 101st Meridian and some of you east of Kansas can give some great advice.

Edited by GroundHog
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Full timers, who leave the Summer Heat and Humidity,  follow the Hummingbirds North.

We have 'Hummingbirded' with Tent and Trailer when living in Colorado and Nevada. When the Hummingbirds show up, it is usually the last snow... or just after.  We have put our feeders out as soon as they begin to hover around the red tail lights on the pickup when a Spring snow hits late.

When the Hummingbirds leave Colorado... it is time to Snowbird.  Hummingbirds still are here in southern Nevada. So are we!  The travels of the Hummingbird make Snowbirds and Geese appear, lazy.  Montana residents watching the Canada Geese and Mallards heading South each season... is also a sign that change is coming.  Time to Snowbird with them.  

Although in Denver, Colorado with its unusual winters... Canada Geese stay year round.  Hummingbirds... gone.

When Hummingbirds return to Colorado... the Snowbirds return North, just BEFORE them.  They arrive at their Summer nesting areas on a real tight schedule.

Not to be confused with Jailbirds, who obviously stay where they reside.

Maybe some true 'old timers' can cover other Birds of a Feather and go on from there.  Maybe Hummingbirded a bit more than the rest of us.  Wyoming residents, step forward.  Explain Hummingbirding. This is a term used like Hum Dinger and Yokels that have obviously lost popularity over time.

Happy Hummingbirding to you and enjoy Spring 2020!  Cannot wait.


Edited by GroundHog
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10 hours ago, sandsys said:

I know about snowbirds; they are running away from snow. I know abut sunbirds; they are running away from sun. I've never heard of hummingbirders; what are they running away from?

Linda Sand

Just an aside and not intended to debate the use of the term - but when I saw the title of the thread I thought it was going to be about fulltimers who quickly move from one campsite to another rather than more leisurely travel.  When I think of hummingbirds that what comes to mind - quickly moving from one flower, etc. to another.

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Scott... maybe 'Jackrabbits' as a word, would include those who move from one campsite to another, upgrading their view frequently.  When someone leaves a lakeside site, along the western side of Flathead Lake in Montana... some send their wife, kids and pets to claim this nice bit of Real Estate to camp.  :)

'Pit House Hoppers':  Those who like to be within a short distance to a pit house at a Forest Service campsite.

How many of we Hummingbirds or Snowbirds wait until 'favorable WINDS' change to avoid a head wind when leaving home or a campsite?  Upwinders, Downwinders or Sidewinders...?

Since we are getting into the mood for Spring 2020... I see a number of members have a great sense of humor.  Make up some new terms for the 2020's...  

I have never seen a Snowbird flying south, nor Hummers... flying north, either.  Maybe bad eyesight.  I need to have my prescription updated.



Edited by GroundHog
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Bill Joyce... let me guess.  You are on the west side of the Sierras.  I would not leave, either!  You found your All Season Home.  

If you quit feeding them or the flowers become scarce... they will go to Oregon for the Winters. I heard California is too crowded.  A little birdie told me.

As the paper clip below says:  Drag FLYS here to attach...

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Cascades, not the Sierras in Washington state.   Yes, on the wet side.   Beautiful hummingbirds wouldn't find much on the dry side.

No, it is not an 'all seasons' if you have arthritis - the damp cold is torture on the joints.  Which is why 1/2 of the Phoenix valley has Washington license plates this time of year.

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