Hummies are here!

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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:16 am

Some swarm: I was at Brad's last night and between 6-7:30pm I saw the same 4 hummies taking turns at the feeder (about every 10 minutes). It's the pair who built their nest in Brad's tree and their offspring. The female likes to perch on the feeder (resting her wings at the same time) and take long sips, the male and the kids all hover and I swear it looks like they're dancing around in the air for a few minutes before returning to the shade of the tree branches.

I told Brad these 4 will be back next year, and then he'll have even more hummies when they have lil ones. Since his tree was so hospitable for nesting, and his feeder is handy, they will be back.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:00 pm

I think you've got the beginning of a swarm starting there, Fiff.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:54 am

I sure hope so! I can hardly wait to see how many we get next year. Brad is moving his feet over a few feet (the firemen said he has to have one unobstructed window in case of fire) but I don't think that will deter them. I know they see if as "their feeder" now. If we get enough hummies next year maybe Bijoux will see a few flying around despite not being able to see Brad's feeder from his window.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:34 pm

I can't even count the number we have here. Swarms like I've said before. I'm sure now that you have 4 (and there are probably some more shy ones around too), you'll get more and more every year. I do think we get the same ones and their kids coming back every summer.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:53 am

Brad's feeder needed cleaning and it was raining so I took it down and was washing it out when the rain eased up considerably. It was only lightly sprinkling, I was rinsing the feeder, and here come two hummies at the window looking in at us. I hurried up and filled the feeder, opened the window to put it back on the hook, and whistled and called to them (I know they were watching from the tree). Sure enough, only minutes later here they come to get a meal before the sun went completely down. I know they must've been at the feeder at first light since it was heavily raining for most of their prime pre-sunset feeding time.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:35 pm

The hummies here seem to love flying around in light rain. They sometimes eat during downpours, but usually they like the light rain.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by jeanebellini on Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:37 pm

maybe they fly so fast and are so small they can fly between the rain drops!
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Those 4 lil hummers are ravenous! They're eating quite a bit for 4 lil bitty birds. Saturday night they were all over that feeder, taking turns mostly one at a time. You can tell the kids by their size, but they're growing fast. At one point the male and female were both at the feeder at the same time, and seemed to be doing a tango when they left. So cute! Brad needs to buy more nectar already and with the nicer weather I know they'll be coming around a lot more often. No rain in the forecast so no downpours to wait through either.

I'm going to miss these lil flying jewels when they head south for the winter.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:11 pm

Oh! He doesn't have to buy the fancy red nectar. Put 1/2 sugar and 1/2 water in a pot and heat until the sugar dissolves. That's it! Hummies are just as happy with that as the red stuff. The feeder attracts them. (Mine isn't even red and they have NO trouble finding it.)
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by jeanebellini on Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:11 pm

sounds like you're making simple syrup...isn't that the same recipe?
i guess you could put a drop or two of red food coloring in it to make it red.
they used to have a feeder out back here and they tied red ribbons to it...thaT's about as fancy at is got;)
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:54 pm

That's it... Plain old simple syrup. You can up the sugar/water ratio as migration gets closer. They need the energy for the long flights. The food dye isn't a bad idea, but it definitely isn't needed. Like I said... Our birds find the feeder even though it's rusted to brown and the syrup is clear.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by Sue Short on Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:56 pm



Speaking of hummers. I saw one hovering in the sprinkler
this morning. Really neat.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:35 am

Aren't they so cute when they do that?

I've read online that the recipe for hummer food is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. I've told Brad it would be easy to make it and much much cheaper. And he'd never run out as long as he had sugar in the place, he could always make more for the feeder. He's thinking it over, it won't be easy for him with only one hand that works.

My mom says if he gets more hummers next summer we'll get a hummer feeder for Bijoux's window and add it to the seed one for the wrens. His shepherds hook has two places to hand feeders. I don't know if the hummers would appreciate noisy wrens that close to their feeder or not.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:09 pm

Four and one will work too, but I usually don't even measure. I just put a bunch of sugar in and fill the pot 3/4 of the way with water. I stir once or twice just to mix up the sugar while the stuff cooks. If Brad can make soup in a pan, he should be ok with this. It's definitely cheaper than the nectar stuff. If he has trouble with cooking on the stove, he can do it in the microwave, but he needs to do things slowly so he doesn't make a big explosion in there. 45 seconds at a time with a stir in between sessions should work.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by jeanebellini on Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:59 pm

fiff it doesn't take much time to make the syrup i'm sure. when you're over there watching a movie make him some up while the movie and previews are loading!
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:05 pm

It takes about 5 minutes to melt the sugar. I would think it might take a bit longer in the microwave since you have to watch out for explosion. The biggest thing to remember is to let it come to room temperature before putting it out. I make a bunch at once and keep the extra in a jar in the fridge. The birds don't seem to care when it's cold, but I would worry about putting out hot juice.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:06 pm

Everything I read online said to let it cool so it won't warp the feeders, since most are made of plastic. I also think that's so they don't burn their lil tongues on it.

Brads' lil hummers are regulars, and boy were they active last night! So much fun to watch! One of them kept hovering at the window just looking in at us. Mom wants to get a hummer feeder for next year so Bijoux can watch them too. Told her she'd need another hook to hang it since the wrens make too much noise and their feeder would be too close on the double-hook she has there already.


Last edited by fiffur on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by BobCat on Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:27 pm

My mom is getting hummers, but I only saw the one in early July that I scared off unintentionally. We did have a little crisis with a different type of bird the other day - Wesley was sitting at our home computer, and heard rustling outside the window by the bird feeders. He looked out but didn't see anything, but it continued, so he looked a little harder at the situation; a small sparrow had somehow wiggled his way INSIDE the bird feeder, which was pretty empty, and couldn't figure out how to get out. He went outside and saved its little life. He's a good friend to birds - he's always getting them out of jams they get themselves into.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:40 pm

Good job! We don't put out seed feeders in summer because we have lots of bushes and trees that the birds like to snack on. Last summer, we were growing grass and sunflowers in the bird feeders because the birds were ignoring them. We'll start putting seed out again in the fall.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:47 am

Bless Wesley for saving that lil bird. I'm sure that bird will remember the kind man who helped him out, birds have fantastic memories. Don't be surprised if that bird comes back and looks at his benefactor through the window.

Went over to Brads late yesterday afternoon and I asked him if the "theater and birdwatching seats were available" and lo and behold no sooner did I say that and here comes a hummie to hover at the window to look at me, then go to the feeder for a meal. Very Happy Lots of hummie action while we were watching a dvd. Even saw a few aerial duets. Mom reports a lot of tiny hummie babies visiting the mums at the back door, I'll have to watch and see. She says they're half the size of Brads hummies.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:57 pm

I saw some really tiny ones in New Orleans. At first I thought they were bugs, but they were just itty bitty hummies. I haven't seen anything like that here though. We have the usual green ones (boys have red throats).
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:58 am

I haven't seen them yet either, but mom said they were out there again yesterday. I must be watching at the wrong time. I imagine hummie babies are really tiny since the parents aren't all that big themselves. Very hard to imagine tiny hummies like those migrating over 2,000 miles to their winter homes.

Brad's hummies were having a real hard time at the feeder last night. Wasps kept chasing them away and hogging the feeder. Saw the hummies dueling with them, driving them off so they could eat only to have the wasps come back. At one point dad hummie was dueling with 3 wasps so mom hummie could eat in peace. Then she returned the favor. Told Brad we need a wasp trap to keep them off the hummie feeder. Those lil hummies were so hungry from having to wait through the rain storm and then fending off the wasps that they were at the feeder until it was nearly too dark to see outside. Latest I've ever seen them at the feeder--ever.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by jeanebellini on Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:47 pm

geez, some of those wasps could be as big as a small hummingbird! is there a way to keep wasps away and still leave the sweet stuff out?
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by fiffur on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:54 am

A wasp trap is the only thing I can think of, I think it has a smell attractant that would lure the wasps away from the scentless hummie feeder. Only problem is, the store clearanced those out already and we can't find one. Poor hummies were dueling with the dratted wasps again Saturday and Sunday night. The hummies have seemed to learn how to take turns dueling so the other can eat. When the wasps finally went away the female especially took long sips while perched.

And they keep hovering at the window to look at us before heading to the feeder. Guess they're still trying to figure out what we are and why we aren't chasing them.
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Re: Hummies are here!

Post by bpaquet on Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:54 pm

The wasps and hummies will learn to share. Our feeder has wasps on the bottom and the hummies go to the feeder holes. The battles last for a little while and then everybody learns where to go for a peaceful meal.

Our birds must be getting ready to migrate. They are eating ALL the time. Constant buzzing around the feeders and it seems like the swarms are bigger every day.
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