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Hummingbirds and the feeders

DoctorShavegood

Aaron Scissorhands
Ambassador
I love hummingbirds. Arguably one of the most fascinating birds on the planet. I went to my uncle's house last summer and he had them flying around his feeder like fly's. There were so many it was hard to keep your eye on just one. I haven't had that kind of success in attracting that many, but I'm seeing a few with this feeder. Only difference is the center yellow has one single hole versus a mesh.

$glass-hummingbird-feeders.jpg

What kind of feeder do you use? Are you attracting them?
 
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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
I thought we still had the one like is in your picture...with the mesh. I looked and this is what we have now that the wife picked up the last time.

I need to fill it up with sugar water and put it out for those mean little suckers. There are usually several that come around. It doesn't seem to matter what type of feeder we have out...they come up.
 

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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Put some sugar water in it and hung it in its usual place. We'll see what happens. SWMBO says one has been hanging around her rose bush.

The dominate one usually hides in the live oak in the background, then charges the other birds that come up. :lol:

Those are some mean little suckers.
 

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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Well that didn't take long. Went out on the front porch and got buzzed by something. Looked over and a hummingbird flew back to the live oak.

It came back.
 

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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Two of 'em out there now...he musta told a friend.

No more pics. until they get wadded up again this year...about 5 or 6 of 'em.
 

dangerousdon

Moderator Emeritus
The SWMBO has a couple of feeders in the flower beds but the humming birds that hang out don't really have anything to do with them. They do, however, love the hibiscus bush we have as well as the Mexican petunias. The hang around these bushes in the mid morning and then again in the late afternoon. They are just fascinating creatures.
 

ackvil

Moderator
We have three feeders. The one furthest from the house and near flowers is ignored. Naturally, this was the most expensive one. Two hanging from a tree near the house ar frequented by hummingbirds. Some AZ hummingbirds are larger and we have some that are here year round.

One bird is quite brazen and is not afraid of my wife and me. There have been times when we are sitting on a garden swing and the bird will get within two feet of us going up and down. Of course, once we try to get a photo of him he flies away
 
We use the "standard" feeders featured in Doctor Shavegood's original post.

I have a red metal travel mug I've been using to drink coffee out of for the past 10 years or so. Every Spring, without fail, I walk out on the front porch in the morning and just as I'm taking a drink a hummingbird will fly up within inches of my face, scare the crap out of me and make me spill hot coffee all over my shirt. I never learn........
 
This is the first year I ever put up a hummingbird feeder. I didn't even know we had hummers around here until I happened to see one fly by our picture window and sit in the tree late last summer/early fall. My feeder is almost exactly like the one in the original post except the bee guards are domed rather than flat.

As best as I can tell, I have two regular daily visitors that come throughout the day. One is a bit bigger than the other and their feeding behavior is different. On 2 or 3 occasions I happened to see both when one was feeding and the other one came and chased the other away. I think they're fascinating and I really enjoy watching them.
 
I had a feeder hanging out on my back porch about two years ago. One hummingbird would show up and drink from it, and then go sit on a branch of a nearby live oak. When other hummers approached the feeder, the first one would fly down and run them off. Apparently, he had claimed my feeder as his. I called him "Spike".
 
It kind of depends on your geographic location, and when you start feeding them, Aaron. If you just started feeding, you've probably missed the birds' establishment of a feeding source during the spring migration, but you might pick up more action when they head south for the winter.

You do have a great advantage in that you are located in what would be considered a Southwestern state, and the hummingbird species diversity in your neck of the woods can't be beat. A glance at Peterson's Field Guide to Birds of Texas and Adjacent States will bear this out. Texas is the only state with a Peterson Guide devoted solely to it. You get a lot of geographical cross over from different biomes, including Mexico.

Give it some time. Your migration is probably earlier than here in Minnesota, but we generally start putting hummingbird feeders out in mid April. Also, compare your yard with your uncle's. There may be a big difference that might be making your uncle's a more attractive spot.

The feeder you have is fine. The yellow guards are to prevent bees and wasps, etc., from tapping into the nectar. If you make your own nectar, boil sugar gently for about 15 minutes in water. You can keep the mix in the refrigerator. DO NOT use artificial sweeteners; it will kill the birds. They will be consuming vital energy drinking what is essentially nothing.

Don
 
Hey Black Adder, I'm a Minnesotan as well living just south of the metro area. How late in the year do you continue to see hummingbirds before they migrate south?

Next year I'll probably try and get the feeder out earlier but this year (my first) I put it out in early May but didn't start seeing hummingbirds until a week or two later in mid-May.
 

DoctorShavegood

Aaron Scissorhands
Ambassador
Don, I've read about their migration and our area is sort of a funnel down to central and South America. Timing for putting out your feeders will maximize numbers. Their fun little critters to watch.
 
Hey Black Adder, I'm a Minnesotan as well living just south of the metro area. How late in the year do you continue to see hummingbirds before they migrate south?
Mid September is a good rule of the thumb. Generally, when you stop seeing them, they're gone. A hummingbird's life is one big balancing act involving food, energy consumption, and weather. Not much room for slip ups.

Don
 

DoctorShavegood

Aaron Scissorhands
Ambassador
I have it up for about a week. It's hanging in front of my bay window in the rear of the house. I'm literally 2 feet from them. I'm seeing them more often now and different species. Today I took down the feeder washed it really good in very hot water and replaced the sugar water.
 
Not to detract from the thread, but if you want to watch some fun birds, attract some purple martins. I've had a colony for about 15 years and never get tired of watching them fly around.
 
Ive tried the feeders but we seem to get luckier with the flowers my wife plants. Saw a blue and metallic green lucky Hbird the other day.
 
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