For those that feed them here in the Carolina's, Do you have the numbers that you usually do? I put my feeders out same time as usual and have seen one lone hummer so far this year. My friends who live 45 mins. away and 3 hours away both are saying the same thing. What gives? Anyone know?
Interesting observation, melsalz! I've seen none this year, and we're usually swarming with them by now. Haven't even put out the feeders yet because we haven't seen any. We have a friend who is really "into" Hummingbirds (actually tags the little buggers!). I'll ask her---if I can get in touch with her---she's always out in the field tagging birds. Was here 2 weeks ago tagging Painted Buntings. Will follow up.
I saw a couple on my morning glories last evening. If I get a chance I'll take a HB count in a couple of days. I seem to get them right around dusk and when the MG's are blooming heavily I get probably 10 in an hour.
In Granville County, NC (Raleigh-Durham) the hummers arrived at the usual time - before I had a feeder out. We usually have a male who controls things and his females and family members who dart in and out. So it looks about normal to us.
Stono, please do ask your friend. My husband gave me a new feeder for Christmas so I was eagerly awaiting them. At a get together this past weekend my other birding friends who also live in the Carolinas mentioned the same thing. It's so odd.
I have seen a less than normal amount of hummingbirds. I have only seen them 3-4 times so far. Only one bird at that. Normally, they are fighting around the feeders. It is rare that I even see them anymore. I thought maybe it was because the honeysuckle was in bloom or maybe there was too much real flowers in bloom. I hope they come around more often!
Last year was worse for me. Only 1 hummer all year. This year maybe 5 or 6. Still less then previous years.
I saw 2 over a month ago and haven't seen one since. That worries me.
Melsalz: She said "no worries". The hummers are on their nests late in May, early June in this area, and won't be around the feeders. By July, the youngsters have fledged, and activity should pick up abruplty. Doesn't seem rational to me... Seems to me hungry parents would be all over the feeders during the whelping season (shows you what I know!). Anyway, she showed NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER. So I'm not going to. But as an ignorant non-believer, I'll still be watching... She said her tagging counts have actually been "up" a little this year on the hummers, and she tags the whole SC Coast, so we may not be in trouble. Might just be an anomoly. Let's hope!
I don't use feeders, just lots of red, tubular shaped flowers. A couple of birds seem to stay around all year. You don't see them often and it is always a nice surprise when you do. I agree with Stono's friend, you'll see them in great numbers shortly when the little ones fledge.
Stono, Thank you for asking your friend. I guess I'm jumping the gun. We built a new house 15 feet away from our old house and this is my first season in the new house. I have a new kitchen window to look out and have awaited their arrival. I'll just keep the feeders filled and hope more show up.
I'm in northeastern NC and I have maybe a dozen nesting in my yard. I put my feeders up arount April 15, [tax time] because that's when the first scouts start reaching my area. I look at the hummingbird migration map every year to watch their progress up from South America.
Where does one find the hummingbird migration map (on the web, I assume)? Although we have hummers every year here at the feeder, I have never found a nest - the surrounding woods (forest) is pretty thick and there could be many nests that I would never see. Is there a special method to hunting for hummer nests?
So I stopped in at a bird store today and asked if anyone else was complaining about the lack of hummers. She said she's heard both sides, but one thing she mentioned is this. She said there has been an abundance of natural blossoms this year. More than usual. She said the birds will go to the natural stuff first and the feeders second. Stono: She agreed with your friend and said that they will be back in droves once the fledglings start coming around. Can't wait!
Well, melsalz, everything I've seen tends to agree with with the "experts". When "natural" nectar is available, they seem to prefer that (good organic doobies!). Each time, and every time! But Boy, when that abundance of "Natural Nectar" declines, they swarm the feeders! And they're real feisty about pecking order...
I DO use feeders, Ardesia! Gets them up on the deck where I can observe them. But I have plenty of red/orange tubular flowers planted in beds below to be "attractors". Seems to work. They seem to love the Minettia, Honeysuckle, and Odontonema I've planted below the deck. But they REALLY love the Pineapple Sage planted far away from the feeders! Just doesn't work for me, but it seems to work for those feisty little guys!
Surprise! I saw a Male this afternoon at my Bee Balm, which is in full bloom.
I keep pots of plants that attract them on the deck so we can watch them out the windows. Such a shame it is always too hot and buggy to use the deck for it's intended purpose so it is full of flowers. Bouvardia ternifolia blooms most of the year for me with bright red trumpets. They are hard to find, sometimes Woodlanders and/or PD has them, but well worth the search. They are also twiggy plants and not the most attractive but the hummers do not mind that at all.
We are in the mountains, in Haywood County. We expected our hummers to return around April 14, as they have in previous years.
This year, not only did they not return until May, our huge flock from last year was only one male and one female. We were flabbergasted, and concerned.
We've been watching and waiting. Suddenly yesterday, a bunch of females, and another (at least) male showed up. We have had to crank up the sugar/water production to meet the needs of the larger flock. Don't know what the heck happened. I wonder if it was due to the extremely cold winter we had all through the South. Remember Florida had below freezing this past winter. So, I'm guessing the some may not have survived, and some may have flown further south to find warmer weather. Just a guess, but since we suddenly have a flock again, maybe they are just having to travel further to get back to us!! Don't dispair. Keep watching for them in your area!!
i have one male and one female. i mark every year markings of the ones i see. last year i had huge numbers and the fall had tons of babies this year 1 male 1 female so far.
I have some of the small feeders for flower pots. I didn't have too much faith in them being found but they were.
I'm still not seeing any at my feeders:( I will change the food again tomorrow, it's been out there for about a week. No whizzing over head, heading to my mimosa tree, which is very unusual. Maybe I'm just having an off year. Glad to hear that others here in the Carolinas are seeing them.
We had our friend the hummingbird expert here today tagging buntings, Melsalz. She yelled at us for not having our hummingbird feeders out, so we put a couple out. One appeared at the feeder in less than an hour! I think they'll come back this year, just later than usual, and maybe not in the same numbers as previously.
Glad to have come across this thread. Friends of mine said they had hummers 3 or 4 weeks ago then they disappeared. They were hoping something hadn't gone wrong. Perhaps they went off nesting somewhere, eh?
Good to hear that ya'll are seeing them show up again and that your hummers are coming in late. At least I know what to tell my friends to calm them down and ease some worry on their part.
That was my idea when we built the house, Ardesia! In fact, I made the builder expand the back deck from 8' to 12', envisioning tons of beautiful tropicals out there to see every day. Wrong! The only thing that can survive on that southern exposure deck is cactus. The reflected heat kills anything leafy and pretty. How do you keep things alive out there? (It's not water---I rigged a drip system for the deck that is totally flexible; it can deliver 5 minutes of water every hour, to virtual constant watering. No schedule worked. I'm convinced it's the reflected heat, not the watering...
I also have a front deck that is quite hot with no roof. So I put out a big umbrella (in a heavy footed stand) like people use on patios. It provides enough shade that I can put out pots of impatiens, caladiums, etc. It has actually worked pretty good. The sun is hot enough there that the fabric has faded over the last couple of years, but my pots do well there until frost. Of course, I have to water them about every night in the summer if it doesn't rain.
My deck faces west and although it is brutal in the afternoon, with the drip system (twice a day for a few minutes) I usually have lots of tropicals blooming. Jatropha integerrima and bouvardia ternifolia bloom most of the year. I fill in during the warm months with othe bloomers. We had the house washed yesterday and I had moved all my pots out into the garden Thurday evening. Everything was sprayed heavily with deer repellent but when I woke up yesterday all the plants were stripped of the foliage and flowers even the desert rose which is poisonous. So bummed.
X: That is a hilarious picture. When we first moved here, we had deer problems, but our dogs run loose so that keeps them away now. On a sad note, woke up to a dead fawn (maybe a day or two old). My dogs found it somewhere and brought it home. I don't want the deer eating my yard, but I don't want my dogs killing them either.
I have an east facing deck, and it gets hotter than hot. It does get shade in the afternoon, but whoa you can't walk on it with bare feet when the sun is shining on it. I'm wanting a pergola built over part of my deck. I want to grow some kind of vine over it and then I would be able to enjoy my deck at any time of day.
I moved one of my hummingbird feeders to the back yard. I've seen one maybe every 4-5 days or so. Still not the numbers I've had in previous years.
I WANT THAT CAT!
My dog runs loose during the day but they usually (but not always) come in the wee hours. Did you know deer like cordylines from Hawaii? I had some beauties but not only did they munch on the bigs ones, they also devoured some seedlings. Aggghhhhhhhh
Put out a feeder at my new home (and town!) two weeks ago and they have been showing up several times thus far....3 at once is the most I've seen...but I'm jazzed at their activity!
Those deer can be crafty opponents. LOL>
I didn't know you moved closer to the Low Country Red.
Corey...yep...Sumter...in Iris Nirvana here with Swan Lakes Iris garden within two miles of the new place...
Well, my husband is making 2 quarts of fresh sugar water every day!! We have at least 15 hummers coming to our two feeders now.
They are so funny when they come in numbers. Whether fledglings or not, they are very curious, and love to check us out if we stand at our porch railings for a while. Especially if I wear my pink or red shirt!!
Now I'll have to get out some organic cleaner to wash the railings under the feeders. Our feeders are hanging on S-hooks under the cover of the porch roof, to keep the juice in the shade. They have left lots of little tiny deposits in payment for their food!
Well, all those hummingbirds that used to visit me must be up in the high country with you. I have seen a lone male this year and that's bout it. He loves my Bee Balm but passes right by the feeder. I dunno????
Well, melsalz, I'm stumped. We are over-run right now, and we had to buy more sugar today so that my husband can keep up with them.
We have Butterfly bushes blooming, and they have been visiting them with the butterflies.
Our Rhododendrons have been blooming very sporadically (might have had winter bud kill), and our Daylilies are almost done (can't really say that they visit daylilies anyway).
So I guess the feeders are their best option right now here.
Sorry you are lacking in hummers!! Maybe they will migrate back your way when it's time??