Saw a hummingbird today!

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  • #30604
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    We were sitting at the informal dining table having supper and I looked out, and there was a ruby throat hummingbird flying around looking to see if any of my wife’s flowers were ones she could feed from. We saw her again a few minutes later looking at the day lilies, which have been blooming for several weeks, and the tiger lilies, which are starting to bloom.

    That’s pretty early for us, usually we start seeing them around mid-August.

    So, I’m making up some hummingbird nectar (6 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of sugar) and Diane is working on getting the feeders cleaned, hopefully we can get them up yet tonight.

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    #30605
    Joan Simpson
    Participant

    Mike we’ve had our feeders out for several months and they are busy.We have three feeders and I use the same recipe for the nectar too.Sometimes we’ve seen as many as 14 hummingbirds flying around and going up in the cedar tree where we hang our on the bottom limbs.We watch them fight each other off to hog the feeder.Love watching them and can hear the fluttering.They’ll go up in the tree and sit and come back down.We have to clean and fill them every other day.It’s amazing to watch them.

    #30606
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    The two hummingbird migration websites I follow don’t even start tracking the fall migration south until August, so that bird was definitely early.

    Their territorial nature is fascinating to watch, I’ve seen one bird spend hours sitting on a chair between several of our feeders, leaving only to chase off some other hummingbird from the feeders she is guarding for herself, and seldom feeding herself.

    #30610
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I got five feeders filled and hung last night, so now of course I don’t expect to see any more hummers for 4 weeks. 🙂

    Followup: We did see a hummer at one of the feeders this evening, so she knows there’s food available and is likely to stay for a while. Not sure if this one was nesting in the neighborhood or just an early migrant.

    #31241
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    The hummingbirds are here in force now, too many to count, probably well over a dozen visible at times.

    Most of them are females, but we’ve seen at least one male. (The hummingbird migration site says the males arrive later.)

    One of the females has decided that a plant my wife has sitting on the table near two of the feeders is a great place to sit and guard those feeders.

    hummer

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    #31246
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    Great picture of the hummingbird sentry, Mike. We had a hummingbird the other day picking the bugs out of a spider web! Take-Out Food!

    #31247
    Joan Simpson
    Participant

    Our’s have slowed up a lot but we still have them.I saw one today on a site that was solid white.

    #31250
    cwcdesign
    Participant

    We do have hummingbird nests around our house – haven’t found them, but they were coming before we got here. We still only have one feeder which we hung under the eaves during one of the tropical downpours where the wind kept blowing them away from the feeder. They found it again quickly.

    There were several that came to the feeder over the course of the evening last night which must have been a sign because of this discussion. I know they come more often, but I’m not always paying attention. I’ve not seen a male there in the two years I’ve been paying attention.

    #31251
    chocomouse
    Participant

    Hummingbirds in this area, Vermont, start their southern migration in early August. By mid-month, there are only a few stragglers left; I’ve seen only 2-3 in the last couple of weeks. I didn’t see as many birds this year, and no large group wars at the feeders prior to their departure.

    #31252
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    The females outnumber the males by something like a 3-1 or 4-1 ratio, so males are less commonly spotted.

    #31258
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I put out 3 new feeders last night, I think it spread the frenzy out a bit.

    #31284
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    When we got up this morning, two of the window hummingbird feeders had their bottoms knocked off, with sugar water all down the window and on the deck.

    Our back patio security camera shows that around 3:30 AM a group of at least 3 raccoons were prowling the back patio, and one or more of them climbed up on the window ledge and knocked the feeder bases off.

    So I’ve moved the feeders up about a foot and refilled them. Fortunately, nothing broke. The hummers waited, oh, maybe 30 seconds after I rehung the first feeder before they were at it.

    I wasn’t aware raccoons had a sweet tooth, not all mammals do. (Cats don’t, for example.)

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