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Hummingbirds!

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Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/8/2011, 9:37 pm

If you like these sweet creatures, I may have a few shots for you. There is a detailed post on my blog, but here are the pictures. Summer is a perfect time of year to set up the hummingbird feeder, especially if you plant bright colored, tubular flowers in, or near, your SFG.











I hope to improve upon these since they are such territorial birds. They fight and swarm with acrobatics that would make Chuck Yeager jealous. They are really fun to watch when they fight over a spot at the watering hole.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  martha on 8/8/2011, 10:18 pm

Your photos are gorgeous!

I have a nepeta Walker's Low that attracted A Hummingird early this summer. That's it. One. Saw him/her about three times and then nothing. Suggestions for how I can get lots of them, or at least one to hang around?
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 12:00 am

martha wrote:Your photos are gorgeous!

I have a nepeta Walker's Low that attracted A Hummingird early this summer. That's it. One. Saw him/her about three times and then nothing. Suggestions for how I can get lots of them, or at least one to hang around?



Boy, I don't know. Flowering plants that they like is a sure bet. Butterfly bush, nasturtium, any kind of "tulipy" bloom that requires a long beak to get into the nectar is a sure thing. If you plant them, they will come. However, it may take seasons at first, especially if you don't have them around already. But, migrants in the fall will find the blooms, and that may indicate a spot to set up shop next year....especially in the absence of competition. I used to see the migrants hit my impatiens every September. It took them forever to figure out those pretty pinks and purples didn't produce nectar. Trumpet vine is the huge winner, imo, but I wouldn't plant it in my SFG.



Here is what I found in an article to plant:

10 Flowers Commonly Used for Attracting Hummingbirds:





  1. Bee Balm
  2. Red Columbine
  3. Delphinium and Hollyhock
  4. Butterfly Bush (invasive in some cases)
  5. Catawba Rhododendron
  6. Rose of Sharon
  7. Trumpet Vine (unfortunately, invasive) and Trumpet Honeysuckle
  8. Cardinal Vine
  9. Lantana and Fuchsia
  10. Silk Tree (unfortunately, invasive)

In my blog, in my signature, I describe the story of how mine found me. Forgive me, it's late, and I don't want to retype it. But, neighbors that have feeders for hummingbirds leave opportunity for you to establish a population, too. Look around your neighborhood and see if anyone else is feeding them.



Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the pics.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  boffer on 8/9/2011, 12:07 am

My wife has planted all kinds of plants to attract hummers. But we still had to put up feeders early in the year to keep them around until the plants started to bloom. I guess some of them migrate.

I told my MIL at the dinner table one time, that another thing her daughter and I had in common was getting more hummers....
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  martha on 8/9/2011, 12:15 am

Razz Razz
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  boffer on 8/9/2011, 12:22 am

martha wrote:Razz Razz

Yeah, but you should have seen everyone looking out of the corner their eyes at each other to see if they had heard what everyone else had heard! yahoo
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  shannon1 on 8/9/2011, 2:39 am

In The back yard a few years ago I planted Fire spike and Fire bush (native plants) for the butterflies. The little humming birds started visiting them the 1st year.

A couple of days ago I was sitting in my garden and almost swatted one as it headed for the Bat Faced Cuphea I had planted for the bees:oops: . It came from over my left shoulder and the loud buzzing startled me. Guess that one won't be back soon:( .
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 9:50 am

boffer wrote:
martha wrote:Razz Razz

Yeah, but you should have seen everyone looking out of the corner their eyes at each other to see if they had heard what everyone else had heard!



You likely suffer from the same disorder as I do. TMOCH- Too much off-color humor. My friends and family all expect it to come out of my mouth now. Some will inadvertantly put it on a tee for me to knock out of the park, and when I don't rise to the occasion, they give me more trouble than if I just do what they expected. It's a reputation we need to uphold, Boffer.....people count on us....lol.

My blog title has raised eyebrows across my Facebook community. Well, duh. What else would you expect out of my mouth/brain. "Summers mean Hummers" has even inspired a phone call explaining that a particular person expected nothing less when they saw it.....but, they clicked on it anyway because they couldn't fathom what it was actually about. (Yeah, like I'm going to put what your thinking in my blog...lol. I'm just going to make sure you pick up on the same pun that popped into my head...that's all.)

Anyway, yes, they migrate. There are also transients that have no real place in life yet...like a 3 year old lion without a harem. You are right about placing feeders in the spring until the plants have a chance to bloom. A migrant may come back in spring to something he/she saw last fall. Anything in place to help them stick around will help you see them over the summer. Once you get a nesting pair nearby, there really is no stopping them.

That's our issue over here. I have enough established neighbors (polite for "aging) that they've been feeding birds and humminbirds for eons, as they would say. I just had to put up a feeder and wait for either someone to get lazy or the new crop of juveniles to fledge and look for their own territories. I have no idea which happened, but I finally have the little guys swarming above my garden.

I may need to blog about this one, too, but I have wrens and native sparrows also nesting very close to my garden. My goal is to have these natural pest destroyers routinely inspect the garden for infestations. The more diversity in birds I can bring in, the better my chances of rarely seeing an outbreak of buggies. It's just funny how the birding obsession goes so well with gardening of any kind.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  nancy on 8/9/2011, 10:25 am

My Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds love foxglove and lantana. And I have 3 feeders for them as well. They begin showing up in April and I imagine the southern migration will begin fairly soon. The females are downright mean! Even though one of my feeders seats 6, none of these ladies is willing to share. It is very common to hear a little squeak of authority as they chase each other off. I bet I have 5 or 6 females, but only 1 or 2 males. They are one of my most-favorite birds to watch. The whole physics of them amazes me!
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 2:18 pm

nancy wrote: They are one of my most-favorite birds to watch.

Mine, too. They give me more behaviors to watch than my dog and children combined.

Another thing that amazes me about animals, whether it be insects or birds, is that they NEVER take a holiday. That ant or bee is working tirelessly as long as the sun is up. He will be there on Christmas, his birthday, and even on Sunday, still putting in his 14 hour day, 7 days a week. He doesn't complain. He doesn't even get paid. He just punches in at sunrise and does his job. He doesn't need a break to watch crappy reality TV. He doesn't need to ask questions on a forum (lol). He just works and works and works. I admire that aspect of the simplest creatures.

We humans can be such softies.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  boffer on 8/9/2011, 2:20 pm

There's no doubt that hummers can make me feel lazy.

We get a lot of Anna's and Rufous'
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 2:34 pm

boffer wrote:There's no doubt that hummers can make me feel lazy.

We get a lot of Anna's and Rufous'



I hope that doesn't go over everybody's heads.

I would love to see other species. But, those of us east of about Topeka, KS, or the plains in general, have only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to watch. You westerners have so many things I'd like to see over there. ....most of them in SoCal...Twisted Evil
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  westie42 on 8/9/2011, 3:05 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
nancy wrote: They are one of my most-favorite birds to watch.

Mine, too. They give me more behaviors to watch than my dog and children combined.

Another thing that amazes me about animals, whether it be insects or birds, is that they NEVER take a holiday. That ant or bee is working tirelessly as long as the sun is up. He will be there on Christmas, his birthday, and even on Sunday, still putting in his 14 hour day, 7 days a week. He doesn't complain. He doesn't even get paid. He just punches in at sunrise and does his job. He doesn't need a break to watch crappy reality TV. He doesn't need to ask questions on a forum (lol). He just works and works and works. I admire that aspect of the simplest creatures.

We humans can be such softies.

Wait till you retire that is a 7 day a week job and then nearly all you have said above will describe you.

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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  nancy on 8/9/2011, 9:16 pm

I think the ruby-throated hummers are extraordinarily beautiful, so since that is the only species I see I can't really complain. When I see a male, it just takes my breath away. Such a treat.



And I truly believe that some birds fly for fun. And some sing for the song. It isn't always work. If I could be a turkey vulture for a day just to ride the breeze, I totally would!
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  quiltbea on 8/9/2011, 9:29 pm

We only have Ruby-Throateds in Maine.

My flower bed is so full of bee balm that the hummers are loving it this year, that and the honeysuckle.

I still put out one feeder for them and refresh it every 3 days. We only have the one pair right now so that's plenty.
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Re: hummingbirds

Post  llama momma on 8/10/2011, 8:43 am

www.Hummingbirds.net

Very enjoyable website - everything about hummers. How to attract hummers, syrup information, all kinds of info about the little darlings and best of all it has an updated national migration map so you can see when to set up feeders for their return to the U.S. each Spring.

Had the pleasure of sitting still with their syrup feeder in my hands and these little birds are so bold they come and feed right in my lap. Maybe this reads like "nothing" but honestly it was such a delight to be within inches of a hummer. Someone else wrote they heard a buzzing sound, my experience is a high pitched peeping sound as they are feeding.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/10/2011, 9:43 am

Thank you! I've been looking for that exact migration map for a year. I googled and googled and hit all my other birding sites, and nothing would pull up that looked right. This is the one I liked watching a couple years back. Thanks again.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  nancy on 8/10/2011, 10:01 am

BBG - do you ever check Journey North? Their maps are based on observation data. I love being a citizen scientist for them! flower



http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  Goosegirl on 8/10/2011, 1:16 pm

nancy wrote:BBG - do you ever check Journey North? Their maps are based on observation data. I love being a citizen scientist for them! flower



[url=http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/[/quote[/url]]



Cool site! Thanks for the link!

GG
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/10/2011, 1:43 pm

No, but I will. I usually am reporting for eBird. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  Josh on 8/10/2011, 1:47 pm

We've had a lot of hummingbirds this past week, they like the rose of sharon trees. I also have hummingbird feeders out for them.


I missed getting to go to the hummingbird festival this year, but several years I have gone and watched the hummingbirds being banded. I have adopted one each year that I go.
Here is a couple of photos of one hummingbird that I adopted getting it's band put on, there was no way I could read the number on a tiny band like that.



hummingbird festival
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  llama momma on 8/10/2011, 3:47 pm

BBG



You are very welcome, I am very glad to provide the hummimgbird.net website. I stumbled across it by accident and have passed it on to as many people as possible. It's wonderful to help each other, enjoy!
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/10/2011, 6:28 pm

Josh, if that first pic is yours, you have come a looooooooong way in a short time. It's great!
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Re: Hummingbirds!

Post  Josh on 8/10/2011, 7:35 pm

BBG yes it is my photo I took today! bounce It just stopped and looked right at the camera Smile

That's a great website!
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Re: Hummingbirds

Post  tabletopper on 8/10/2011, 11:05 pm

Lucky SFGardeners in my area.....we have them all year round.....but the black ravens or crows....likes to catch a baby one in the nests.....grr grr......

We put out the feeders near the kitchen window so we can enjoy watching them...



Josh....Great picture.....tnx.....Ruth

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