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Thank you , Mrs. Ed, for the useful plant list! Like you, I have faithfully put out feeders in the summer but here on Cape Cod I usually don't see hummers around until the fall migration. But this summer I planted some scarlet runner bean vines on a trellis right outside my kitchen window. Ruby-Throated Hummers came all July and August.
In a previous life I lived in Central Coast California, and had two Anna's Hummingibrds, one in my front, and one in my back patio. They were both quite territorial and didn't much like it when I would go out to water my hanging baskets of fuchsias and begonias! They would dart angrily around me and scold me for my temerity with the watering wand!
Thanks for the article and the list. I've grown Black and Blue salvia as an annual for three years, but I've noticed more hummingbird activity on them this year than ever before. One female ruby-throated (the only kind I see) was no more than six inches from my hand as I was watering one of the b and b salvias recently. I froze until she finished dining, so I was able to observe her closely for a good long time. What fun!
I also have the Black and Blue salvia, which is a hummer favorite. They also prefer red yucca. I currently live in New Orleans, which is a very urban environment, and I don't see hummers except during migration. There was a period of several years after 2004, when 4 hurricanes hit the Florida coast, and in 2005 when Katrina and Rita decimated the Louisiana coast, that I saw NO hummingbirds during migration. It was heartbreaking. Last year, 2008, was the first time I spotted hummingbirds in my garden. It was spring, and they were enjoying the blossoms on my Meyers Lemon. YaHoo.
I've heard lots of reports about how Katrina took out so many plants. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the ecosystem to recover.
There's an interesting story about west coast hummingbirds. After the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, workers in bright orange vests were on the mountainside. They were buzzed by lots of hummingbirds, thinking they were flowers. Interesting that even though there was so much decimation, the birds were in the same spots looking for food.