As we anxiously await the arrival of the first ruby-throated hummingbird, there is no better time to reflect on the fact that early colonists did not believe that ruby-throated hummingbirds migrated all. Here is one theory that was put forth to explain the disappearance of hummingbirds at the end of summer.
A book published in 1651 named The Pennsylvania Cyclopedia offered a bizarre explanation why hummingbirds vanished at the end of the growing season. According to this tome when the flowers visited by hummingbirds throughout the year faded away, the birds did not migrate to places where flowers bloomed throughout the winter. Instead, they simply stuck their long bills into the trunks of trees. Here they remained motionless until spring rains began to fall. At that time, they would miraculously come back to life and resume their quest for nectar.