This thread belongs to ALL Lovers of Hummingbirds so please join us in sharing pics, stories, fun facts and anything else RT Hummer related. And don't forget to go back to last year's thread now and then. It was packed full of great pics and conversation!
I don't have many pics yet from this year so I'll start out with a few I may have posted last year...hopefully you guys have short memories.
Thanks for the new thread nature! Never too late in the year for bird photos, (I usually get my best shots in July/ August) Great opening photos above! Especially like that first one, It's looks so fat on that feeder lol!! Too cute!!
Got a few to add from some quick shots the other day ...
You're Very Welcome, IRIS & pmutalik2000! I'm sure everyone was thinking about starting the thread, but so many of us had late Hummers this year we just never got around to it.
IRIS ~ Love those pics, especially the Monarda shots...so tiny next to those big blooms!!
My Monarda probably won't be blooming for two or three weeks. My 'Jacob Cline' died (drowned, actually, when too much rain flooded their flower bed), but I still have a small variety that's thriving.
pmutalik2000 ~ Fabulous shots!! The middle one looks like he's aiming at a "Bulls-eye".
I try to take the pictures in the mornings and evenings. The camera I am using is a Nikon D2x with a SB-800 strobe set at 1/32 power. I am also using a 200mm telephoto lens. The shutter speed is typically 1/200 or 1/250's and I under expose the shots since the strobe makes up for the under exposure. This allows me to freeze the wings. At first I thought the birds would mind the strobe but thankfully they don't seem to be the least bit concerned with it. Even after the strobe they spend several seconds blissfully drinking the sugar water. I limit myself to one shot per visit so as not to freak them out and let them drink as much as they want. My monarda is still not showing any signs of blooming, infact only the clematis and a couple of roses are blooming in the garden right now. Hopefully will get more "natural" pictures when they bloom. Hope this helps.
nutsaboutnature, Thanks! And sorry to hear your 'Jacob Cline' drowned, Seems a lot of places had a lot more rain this year then expected ( I know we sure did!), A lot of my clematis vines ( and some others)are showing signs of too much water. The Monarda ( I call it Bee-Balm) is doing great though and the hummers really love it ( And the Red, And Black and Blue Salvia too) You'll be having a flood of oppertunitys when yours blooms in a few weeks!! I wish I had the time to just take one day to devote to photos, I think I could get some pretty good shots , Especially now while the bee-balms blooming, Love the Bee-Balm ( Though it's a MAJOR spreader here) But, to me, It doesn't seem to flower long enough , Won't be long and all the blooms will be gone :( .. But, for now, the Hummers are really enjoying it! ~ The Salvia lasts for a long time and they love that too, I got some good sized patches for them. Look forward to more posts when you get some more photos !
pmutalik2000, Thankyou for all the information! I thought you were taking them about those times ( Best time to take them actually) I really look forward to when your Monarda blooms, You too will have a great oppertunity to get some fantastic photos when they are at the blooms!! It's hard to resist taking a lot of photos of those Flying Jewels!!
I could not resist posting these pictures. As I was waiting for the hummingbird to come to the feeder a bumble bee flew in towards the port on the feeder. Within seconds the Male was there to do battle, he was successful in driving away the bee. Here are the two shots of that battle at the feeder.
here is one I took tonight, I even managed to freeze his little wings, which is not easy to do especially when it starts getting darker. I am glad we have a special page for our little 'flying jewels" as everyone calls them, they ARE so precious.
emptyeyes, Love that shot! Definately a challenge at times to freeze the wings, Especially getting a shot when it's getting dark! ~ I don't know about the others here, But, I only use manual for all my photos and have to manually get the HB's in focas when trying to get a photo, ( Can't use auto focas with the lens I use) ~Very challenging! Heres a few from today ..
Iris, the only way I can do it is to focus the feeder and when the hummer comes in for a drink, snap the picture real quick, the ones that were real close I was sitting in a chair and you would not believe how long I have to sit sometimes before I hear that hum that they can only make. Sometimes I snap too late and get just the feeder but most times I get either the female or the male, today I had a red hat on and they were both flying around me. Everytime I hear that hum I just freeze and see if I can spot them.
Our Hummingbirds are next to non-existent this year. Our family may catch one or two a week, rather than the daily visits and battles of last year. We've not been putting out as much nectar now that the columbine is blooming and they are going to that. I planted a dozen or more of those things. We also have some Cardinal flowers that came back from last year.
As far as I know, the couple of neighbours we have, they are not feeding hummingbirds, so not sure what happened. Maybe the drought??
Very nice photos, you all. That was a fun challenge last year, trying to get photos of the wings. This was probably the best we got and this was using the 8 shots per second setting.
emptyeyes, I do the same, I wait untill I see them at the feeder/flowers and just try to focas the best I can and snap off a shot, doesn't come out too bad most times.
Chillybean, Good shot! I wonder why your not seeing them much this year too, I'd keep the feeders out and full even if there is other plant foods around, I have them coming to visit the bee balm and salvia like crazy, But, They still always come and drink from the feeders too.
Cute picture, Chillybean!!
Although we've been seeing our Hummers daily, there are fewer than normal and they were very late this year. I expect we'll see more as Summer progresses. I bet you will too. It's just been strange this year. I agree with IRIS about keeping at least one or two feeders out.
Super shots, IRIS!! She's a real sweety.
Here's a couple of pics from yesterday. It was super bright out and, unfortunately, parts of the pic were slightly washed out while his little face was very shaded...probably from the feeder.
Trying out a new technique today, it's called Strobe Motion. The idea is to set the camera shutter to a very slow speed (1/4 second) in my case and set the flash to repeat fire at 1/8 power multiple times. I set the flash to fire 3 times at 30Hz. Here is what I ended up with. Have to fool around a bit more with the flash speed to get this right but I'm quite happy with the result.
I thought I would try to get some more pics of them at dusk and here they are, this is the males, they were flying all around me because it is cooler and my hubby made the sugar water a little sweeter and they were going crazy.
Memays, I've seen a fight between 2 hummers, and one was relentless in his attack. I had to intervene, to rescue the little guy. The attacker kept charging him, while I was helping it. But my effort were in vain, he died a few hrs after his rescue.
More and more hummers are starting to show up, now. We now have mostly females and juvies, with the occasional adult male.
Because we had less hummers this year, I had only put up two feeders for most of the season (along with the blooms I have for them). With the visits more frequent, now, I just added another feeder to cut down on the chasing. There's still chasing, but at least more hummers get to eat.
Haven't gotten too many pics lately. Here's a couple...nothing special. The silhouette was mostly for fun.
Hummer activity has been strange this year, all over the country. My brother lives in the Colorado mountains and has a ton of hummers. He puts up about a dozen feeders and has to fill them daily. His hummers were also late this year.
Usually my males show up quite a bit before the females in spring, but because the males were late the females showed up right afterwards since they need time to breed and raise their young.
Glad your hear your hummer may have just been molting. Their feathers can get pretty scruffy-looking at times as new ones grow in.
Well...of course I would be standing right next to some Cardinal Flowers when a little female decided she was hungry...with my camera sitting in the house. She hovered and studied me for a few seconds, decided I wasn't a danger, and proceded with her snack.
Most of our adult males have headed south, but we still have a few and should still see some migrating from further north.
nutsaboutnature, I know how you feel, I'm always seeing them on plants/blooms that I would love to get a picture of them on, But, It's always a time when I'm really busy, When I try to get them, They don't want to go where I want them to be lol ... I got 5-6 hummers here right now, 1 male and the rest are female/juvies and they are fighting like crazy for the feeders! Got these pics last night, It was almost dark out and getting too dark for the camera I was using but I tried to get a few shots anyway ...
Thanks IRIS!! Cute shots!! That last one is cool. I find it so hard to "catch" them while they're hovering at flowers since it's usually when I'm outside doing something else and don't have my camera.
Glad to hear you have more hummers now. We, also, have quite a few right now and like you, ours are mostly females (or immature males) since most of the adult males have started their southward migration. I don't know how many we have, but they seem to be all over the place and are constantly chasing each other.
All our feeders are on shepherd's hooks which allows them to be strategically placed...near a window, in a flower bed, etc. Each Spring I attach a dead branch to each of the shepherd's hooks which the hummers really enjoy. They'll "park" on the branch and stick around longer (or sometimes guard "their" feeder from perceived invaders). Now and then it even makes for photo ops.
I am new to this thread but we have been getting hummers for the last couple weeks which is about 3 weeks early this year. We are in the middle of the migratory path and get hundreds at a time for a while. I go through over a gallon of sugar water a day during that period. This year I had a couple stay all summer which is unusual but I hope it will be repeated next year.
We only get ruby throats, sigh, but what a show!
Haven't really sat down yet to get more pics, but I will have to take a minute now that their numbers are increasing exponentially.
I really enjoy reading all the posts and seeing where the little guys spend their summers.
nutsaboutnature, Thanks! I have my feeders on shepherd hooks too, Which they sit on quite a bit, Except for the male, He hangs out in the tree branches that overhang the fence and dives down to guard the feeders so I move the feeders around every now and then and helps as it takes him a little while to re-establish his guarding area.
rouxcrew, Welcome to the thread! nice pic's, Wow, I'd love to see hundreds at a time ( Even if they are just Ruby Throats) , lucky you! I can only imagine what a show that would be!! Hope to see more pics!
Thanks Iris, it is a spectacle, and a noisy one. When the numbers grow, all fighting stops and all you hear are the drone of their wings. Honestly you cannot talk on the porch during those weeks. A friend took a video last year that truly captured the numbers and the noise. We have a 10' wrap around porch and I used to scatter the feeders all around but that made it hard to keep up with which ones needed filling. S now we use the east side and half of the north side and find that they are just as happy. We have two desert willows, one on each side and they perch a lot in those as well as further out in our big post oaks.
rouxcrew, YW! I had seen a video with the hummingbirds in large groups like that and it was so awsome! Nothing like experiencing it firsthand though! So happy for you that you are able to do that!! ~ Sounds like you figured the best set up that works for you, SeemsThey will always find them no matter where you move them to which works out great for adjustments when needed. I'm tending to think that there are just too many at a time for a single one to try and guard and thats why there is no fighting among them, Wish it was that way here!
It's really exciting that you get so many hummers during migration! I was surprised, based on your location, that you only get Ruby-throated, but I guess it makes sense since RT's cross the Gulf of Mexico.
I've read that Ruby-throats tend to be more agressive than most other hummers about guarding feeders, but, like you said, it stops when there are too many other birds to keep track of.
My brother in Colorado has tons of hummers of several varieties sharing feeders. Few, if any are RT's, but he's even said when they first start coming, the earliest ones try to "claim" the feeders, but then they come in masses so it changes quickly.
Another member, "dellrose", used to post lots of pics of RT all sharing feeders. She might also have been on a migration route, but she was further north. If you go back a year or two you can probably see her pics.
I'm lucky to see two at one time on a feeder and most likely it's either young siblings or Mom and a baby, but even that's rare.
IRIS, though I don't move my feeders around, I have them spaced quite a ways apart in different areas of our yard. I do think it helps. Right now I have three feeders up.
We have twice as many today as yesterday, but there is still some squabbling going on. I don't think any other migratory path goes through our area so we just get RTs. I have been told of sightings of black chinned or rufous in the winter, they say that if we have a winter hummer that is what it is. Several other species may occasionally be found in Houston in the winter. These include Allen's, Anna's, Broad-tailed, and Buff-bellied Hummingbirds. All this info comes out of Houston, we are NW so I will be extra vigilant as the stragglers hang around in October. The numbers are too large for me to be sure of anything other than ducking and the fact that they will hover in front of you and chew you out if a feeder goes missing too long.
I will get more pics as the mob gets bigger, it is amazing.
We still have lots of activity around our feeders. I haven't had many at the feeders this summer. They must be getting ready to leave because there are several around them now! After enjoying all of your pictures I decided to get my camera out and see if I could capture a few of the little darlings!
[quote="rouxcrew"] The numbers are too large for me to be sure of anything other than ducking and the fact that they will hover in front of you and chew you out if a feeder goes missing too long.
I will get more pics as the mob gets bigger, it is amazing.
I bought my first one on a clearance rack for less than $5.00. I love it and searched all the stops for some more. Finally found them in a catalog, but not for less than $5.00! They are so easy to clean, and the built in ant moat is nice.
Up around where I live, both Menards and Blaines Farm and Fleet have them. I paid $5.00 at Menards on sale in early spring. I almost bought another, but wanted to make sure the hummers would use the perches since they seemed a little further out then my others. Well, the hummers are perfectly happy with the perches and will sit for long stretches.
They still have them in stock so I'm hoping they go on sale again at the end of the season. If not, I just might break down and buy one anyway. They have them in two sizes, but I have no need for the larger one.
That's where I found the first one on clearance. But they didn't have any this year at our Menard's store. I will have to check and see if they got some in since I looked. Always need more hummingbird feeders!
nutsaboutnature, I have my feeders spaced quite a ways apart too, But, I still move them around now and then, It helps cut down the fighting.
Welcome Rose1656!! Great photos rose and rouxcrew! Thanks for sharring! got quitea few around the feeders but just can't seem to get them when they are all close together ( Maybe tommorrow) This is what I got for today ..
Wonderful shots, IRIS!!
It's funny the way they like to sit on branches (or tomato cages) with no leaves. Mine tend to look for dead branches on the trees so they can look around. They seem to have favorites and generally go to the same ones over and over.
You're right, Rose1656...you can never have too many hummingbird feeders. Besides, I like to rotate mine so the hummers still have feeders hanging while I'm washing some of them. They get so upset when they come for sugar water and their feeders are gone!
nutsaboutnature, Thanks! your right, they do tend to have favorites that they always go to. The other day, I was cleaning the feeders, And when I took the refreshed feeders back out and went to hang one up, The hummingbird came to the feeder (which was in my hand) to get a drink. What happens when you don't have your camera huh!!! I'm going to try it again when the feeder is empty and have my hubby take a picture.
Your hummers must be relatives of my hummers. Mine always come around and make the cutest poses or hover right in front of my nose just looking at me...but never when I have my camera! They do give me good photo opps at the feeder outside my kitchen window, but those rarely come out as clear as if I were outside...maybe if I'd keep the window spotless?
I love all the pictures. I realized yesterday how hard it is to take a good picture of a hummingbird, especially on a flower and not a feeder. Iris, is that Salvia "Black and Blue"? That is the plant in my pictures. They are drawn to it. Thanks to all the people who have taken pictures for this thread. You have my admiration!
I never seem to have my camera when I'm out in the gardens! If I do take it along, I usually set it down to weed and miss the opportunity to capture them at the flowers! Nice pics of hummers and pretty plant! Really like the blue blooms on that one.
I haven't been able to do much shooting but I had a crinium blooming this morning so I tried a couple shots. This was a funny girl, she would feel the camera come up and would hide behind the feeder so I caught her peeking around to see if I had left. She then flew to a dead limb and fussed at me.
Those are great pics and beautiful blooms!
Hummers do love Salvias. They even love the annual Salvias so I always make sure to add some annual Red Salvias and sometimes also the Blue ones. I tried some annual Pineapple Sage in a pot, one year. It's supposed to be irresistible to hummers, but mine started blooming too late in the season. I might try it in the ground one of these days, just to see if it blooms earlier.
Rose, I think the hummers just wait for us to set down our cameras...then they fly off chuckling about dumb these humans are.
Edited: rouxcrew, we cross-posted. Those are cute shots! Sounds like your little female has you figured out.
nutsaboutnature, Maybe you could leave your window open/up when your ready to take some photos?
rteets, Welcome! Yes it is hard to get shots with them in movement by the flowers, I have an especially hard time because I have to do everything manually with the lens I use, So I have to try and adjust the focas as they are moving around, Not easy to do at all!! ~And yes, That is Black And Blue salvia and they are definately drawn to it, I also have the Red Salvia, I planted one are with Salvia for the purpose of the hummingbirds, They seem drawn to other plants, but, Not like they are to the salvia, One other plant that they are majorly drawn to is BeeBalm, They LOVE bee balm! You did a great job with your pictures ( Very Nice) I especially like that 3rd one!
Rose1656, Same with me, Sometimes I take the camera out and put it down while weeding or fixing plants, And then when I see a good oppertunity, I can't catch it because my hands are too cruddy from doing the weeding/fixing and I don't want to get it on my camera!
rouxcrew, Cute pics, And it's funny how they try to hide and then peak around the corner! I found that when I want to take a picture of them at the feeder, I will put the low stick tape on one side of the feeder, That way they can only use the side in which I can get a good picture, Works good.
I love that blue and black salvia. I tried some a couple years ago and lost it. Since I figured it wasn't too much of a draw for hummers I never tried again. Will definitely need to rethink that. Near my feeders I have red salvia in a variety of heights, all have been RU swaps, Cosmos, milkweed, lantana, crinium, rain lilies, moss verbena, basil, oregano, butterfly vine and jack vine. Further out there are Cowpen daisies, Esperanza, duranta, desert willows and a couple big salvias in pink and purple. Butterflies and bees go nuts for all of those, my hummers think they are too slow. LOL
Rouxcrew, if you want hummers you should get this plant. They go to it before the feeder which is only 3 feet away. I have extensive gardens (which you can visit on the Garden Showcase site) with many different flowers and I have never had one that draws the hummers like this one does. It's not hardy here so I just have a couple in pots on my deck close to the kitchen window so I can see the visitors.
rteets, I do intend on getting some more now that I know they like it but I don't need more hummingbirds. Today we lost count around twenty and we know there were at least twice that number while we were standing there. In another week we will have close to a hundred, especially if a cool front rolls in up north. Normally they hit the feeders first to fill up and then sit around in the trees to rest.
Those are great pictures, and I like your garden. I have been working on turning my front yard into a 3 B cottage garden (bees, birds, butterflies). The problem with having a working farm is finding the time to make it happen. Baby steps my husband reminds me.
IRIS, easier said than done. First, I'd have to remove the screen and keep it off...not a good idea with all the insects that want to come in the house. Then, I'd have to keep the window open for long periods with no screen because the hummers come and go constantly now and really like that feeder. If I waited to see a hummer to open the window, it would scare it off. Good idea, though. Just wouldn't work too well for me. :-))
Your right about Bee Balm. I wish it lasted longer or the varieties bloomed at different times. I tend to leave the blooms till there's nothing left on them because the bees will come even if there's only one petal and the Goldfinches like the seeds. Their favorites, of course, are still Coneflowers and also Black-eyed Susans, but they love all kinds of flower seeds.
Love the pics, rteets and rouxcrew!!
rteets, do you start your 'Black and Blue' from seeds or plants? They're definitely not hardy in my zone, but the plants are kind of expensive to use as annuals. If I grow some I'll probably try to save them somehow for the next year...whole plants or cuttings (or seeds if they come true).
rteets and rouxcrew, great pics! I have yet still to get a good picture of the hummer's by the salvia!
nutsaboutnature, awww sorry to hear it wouldn't work, I sometimes open the windows and take the screens off when I'm cleaning them and it's all open for a while,I don't really get any insects that come in, But, I have a tri-level home, So my windows are not open on the ground floor. Usually all time here, If a hummer gets scarred off when a window is opened and the screen raised, It pretty much comes right back within about 10 minutes, Maybe you could try that and just wait the 10 minutes to see if he comes back. :)
Here are a few from tthis morning ...
1. ~ 3 ~! Resting on a Daylily branch
4. Getting a drink
5. ~ Watching an Intruder
IRIS, very cute pics!! #5 is funny...they're ALWAYS watching intruders.
I was just re-reading an article I saved on hummers from a 2006 National Geographic.
Part of one paragraph says...[They are certainly fearsome - gram for gram, perhaps the most confrontional players in nature]. And one of the naturalists studying them said, "I think the hummingbird vocabulary is a hundred percent swear words".
OMG rouxcrew!! Can you just feel the envy we're all having right now? ^_^
Really fun pics, BTW!!
Great that your hummer activity has increased. Ours has as well.
Until a few days ago we had mostly females and juvies since most of the adult males had already left. Now we've gotten more adult males again and they've claimed a couple of the feeders. I don't know how many hummers we have right now, but it's enough that we see them constantly chasing each other all over the yard so it might be quite a few.
There is a guy on the IL Bird listserv in southern illinois that talks about going through GALLONS of water a day. He also has a bander come at this time of year and banded 68 the other day. Can't even imagine.
That would be us as well. Right now I am going through a gallon a day, buying 10# of sugar a week. That will go up as we go through September. I currently have five quart feeders up and am refilling once a day. One I filled at daylight is now almost empty.
I certainly have plenty to share, although I suspect they would immediately head back to my place. LOL
Yah, 68 in one day. I went to a banding session in Lemont a couple of years ago and they were up over 100 banded that day. I adopted one for myself, my Mom and Margaret. We're supposed to get a notice if they are ever recaptured or found.
Here's a cutie from this morning. As far as I can tell, I still only have two buzzing around here.
Thwack! (Sound of me hitting myself on the forehead with heel of hand). What was I THINKING! I guess I had a picture of all these little banded hummers lining up to be caught so their bands could be examined.
There is a lot of activity at the feeders now as the birds get ready to head back South (we are in MA, northeastern US) and I suspect in a couple of weeks they will be gone. In the meantime here is the activity from today, almost all the birds are juveniles.
Margaret...that's a funny picture...now you've got me laughing!
On the U.S. "Interstate Highways" you'll occasionally see exits to the "Truck Scales" where large commercial trucks go to get weighed (you probably have the same thing in your country). During busy times there may be a long line of trucks on the off-ramp to the scales. That's what I pictured when I read your post...only instead of trucks...they were hummingbirds, returning from their long migration and waiting to have their bands inspected!
The real first wave has hit. Three days ago I bought ten pounds of sugar and I will be buying another ten tomorrow. Don't know if the right picture is here but I had over twenty birds around one feeder. I had taken down one to bleach and refill and one little male decided that he could defend the chain from all interlopers. I have a tumbleweed hung from a rafter, memento from a trip, and they are starting to perch like ornaments on a tree.
The close up was just above my head, not more than a foot away. It was cool to be that close.
The migration usually runs through late October, but since they started early this year who knows? I know that they stay at good feeding grounds for a while to get ready for the long jaunt to Mexico, but it is hard to tell who stays and who goes. Me, I just work here filling up feeders and trying to stay ahead. I have been running errands all day and expect to find more than one feeder empty or close to it. Then I will have to make a new gallon of water and start all over.
One thing, the sugar water doesn't stay around long enough to go bad.
Here is one from this morning and a new game: How many hummers can you spot?
All five feeders were empty, so I ran in and quickly made TWO gallons of sugar water. Five quarts went out all the while they cussed me, and a couple didn't wait for me to hang them, they started while I was fishing for the hook.
Dave found it funny that my cheese pot was being called into service for the water but it is the only one big enough, 12 qt. he won't think it funny when I buy a 25# bag of sugar next.
I really cried when we moved out to the new farm. I had spent years at the old one cultivating friendly plants and had a good amount of hummers. I didn't have a single one here for more than four years, and now I have tons so I can't complain.
You know, until I saw the photos of banding I never thought about it. I wouldn't know who to contact or if they would want to in this area with migration in full tilt. Since they are just passing through, would the info be important?
I think the early morning brings in the new birds, although it is quieter, they are much more hungry, willing to sit next to one another to drink. This feeder was full at dawn which is around 7, and this is at 10. I sat and watched trying to get a pic of every station full. Funny how almost all will be taken and in comes a trouble maker scattering the group.
It is rare that any come to any of my flowers now, but there is the occasional hard core bird.
I bet Mrs_Ed could direct you if you wanted to find out about banding. I would think they'd be very interested since some of the reasons they band is to find out where the birds go, where they end up and which routes they take.
Up here they like to go to a place like yours to make it worth their while. I'm sure they band there because I know they band Ruby Throats in central america in the winter. http://www.hbrcnet.org/hummerbanders.htm
For about the last two weeks, we've been having more hummers than we've had all season with migration from up north in full swing. They're constantly zipping around chasing each other all over the yard. Granted, we have just a teeny, tiny percent of what rouxcrew has down in Texas, but it's still really exciting!
Most of my hummer flowers are waning, like these agastaches, but they still seem to enjoy them. They're now spending most of their time at the feeders, though, and perched in the nearby trees. I leave the coneflower seedheads (in the background) for the Goldfinches.
I'd say my population is about normal. just a couple every day. But I'm having a terrible time with plants again this year. My tithonia torch didn't come up, then the replanted seedlings did not thrive. My short tithonia is blooming, but along with the zinnia's, not very well. Just not enough moisture in my sandy soil. Still have a few blooms on the trumpet vines though, and some of the annual salvia are still going.
do you leave your agastache seeds too? I do. The goldfinch and junco love them. Of course, then I have seedlings everywhere. LOL.
I leave the seed heads on most of my plants for the Goldfinches and other birds. It doesn't make for the most attractive garden and, yes, there are seedlings everywhere. I figure since I choose most of my plants with wildlife in mind (from the pollinators to the birds) it wouldn't make sense to cut them down while they still have all that food.
Many of my plants struggled this year and some drowned in our heavy spring rains, but others have thrived even more this year. Go figure.
I still need more hummer plants that last later in the season. My Cardinal flowers are almost done and one of my perennial salvias that normally continues to rebloom, didn't this year. I still have some annual red salvias blooming. Next year I'm going to start more annual salvias. Maybe even wintersow some like 'Black and Blue' and 'Pineapple' Sage...two hummer favorites.
I plant that coral nymph annual salvia and I get lots of volunteers off of that. it's nice because some come up really late, so they are nice at this time of the season. I used to mostly plant Lady in Red, but have found this to be more vigorous.
Ditto on all the seedheads. I was just watching some cute juvies begging for seeds while the parents chomped on coneflowers. cute cute cute.
I looked up 'Coral Nymph'. It's very pretty and, apparently, very popular. My Salvia 'Eveline' self sows and has really spread, but it stays in one bed. After cutting back in early Summer, it normally reblooms lightly till frost which has been great for the hummers, but this year It's barely rebloomed at all.
Awwww...how cute! Now isn't that worth having seedheads and seedlings everywhere? To me that's one of the most beautiful sights there is. I haven't had any luck getting shots of the "begging" juvies, but here's a female.
Edited: "Oops...should have posted this in the other thread".
Thank You, sure, if it's not a hassle.
You'll have to forgive me, but I've never done any plant or seed trading so I don't really know much about how the process works. All I know is that I pay for the seeds and the shipping/handling, but that's the extent of my knowledge.
I don't know whether or not I have any plants you'd be interested in. With some plants I don't know how to actually get the seeds out of the pods. With others, I can see them, but I've never tried drying them. Mostly I just let everything self-sow. Boy, do I feel (and sound) stupid!
Nah, I dont' need anything. Dmail me your address that's all. I need to do a major overhaul to the garden so I really am not planting anything new. I'm going to have to remove a bunch of plants unless we get a shallow well drilled for watering. Too expensive to pay a water/sewer bill here and everything is dying. boo
Thanks, Mrs_Ed!! That's very kind of you. I'll send you a D-mail.
That's crummy about your plants dying. We've been fortunate this summer with more rain than normal so I've done almost no watering, except with the rain barrel, but that's unusual and our water cost is pretty high, as well. Hope your well idea works out for you. Do you have rain barrels?
OMG, rouxcrew!! It's like a swarm of locusts, except they're much, much prettier. Thanks for that video!
I saw this guy before everything went crazy. His throat was never red, but I am assuming he is still a RT. part of the reason I shoot tons of photos is in hopes I might see a different bird. But I doubt any would want to fight these guys.
There are some bird cams in central america that feature that kind of open container. The good thing is that other nectar birds come up to use it. I think when there are numbers like you have, they are more likely to use it.
Great photos! Here we are a couple days ago, I was finally able to get a lot in the picture. I took more video that morning as well, it is busier than the other one. They are so hungry that they don't wait for me to hang the feeders anymore, they start drinking as I am getting to the chains.
Mrs. Ed, I tried a version of the open red feeder and got no takers all day. Sigh,it would have been cool.
Well Joy, I suppose that like anything it would take a while for them to figure it out. And if there were no other feeders but that kind, they' for sure try it. You might try to put a good nectar flower in it. Geeze, with all these, I bet you could hand feed for sure.
My husband said the same thing about it being the only one and they might use it. I don't have the heart to take the others away though. Several years ago I had a half gallon feeder, but I broke it and never found another although I haven't looked online lately. I would like robe able to not have to refill twice a day during the peak migration like now. The other problem is that so many feeders only give you four ports. They get panicky when food is limited, so all of mine have six to eight ports per feeder. When the numbers are less, there is a lot more resource guarding but now they sit for long periods just drinking and resting.
agreed. i don't think I'd take all the others away, but just saying it would take some time. You could start in the spring and maybe just use the tray and place a regular feeder there. Then maybe add some water, and gradually move them over. Could be a fun experiment. I think it was Elphalba that took the cover off of one of her feeders so it was just a moat. worked well.
You know how Orioles are always drinking the nectar from hummingbird feeders? Well, the hummingbirds at my Mom's house started to eat the grape jelly that is for the orioles. I put some out for the couple of birds I have here and so far no takers.
Wow...great shots, Joy!! Shear craziness at your place!
I know that "Perky Pet" makes a 48oz feeder and they usually have specials where you can buy multiples for cheaper or specials where you get a free feeder. But their largest feeders are plastic even though their smaller ones are glass.
Don't feel bad Mrs_Ed. My hummers have never expressed the slightest interest in Grape Jelly.
It is cold here in MD so I have time to get some fun stuff done inside instead of working in the garden. I will share some of the hummers we have at our cabin in the UP of MI. I have a large stand of Monarda (bee balm) and I added a second feeder this year. They are so territorial that I am able to stand right next to the action and the underlings get brave and come in to nectar.
ahhh! jealous. Look at all those birdies. and some sort of fritillary too! Where in the UP is your cabin. I think we're going to vacation there next summer. Tough to pick just one place to stay since it's all so wonderful!
Mrs Ed Our cabin is about 12 miles into the woods from a town called Amasa. The nearest larger town is Iron River. The UP is nice, many beautiful waterfalls, miles of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior shore to walk and drive along, great camping facilities and 100s of square miles of National and State Forests. Low traffic and friendly people too. The summer days are really long too in June and early July!
It's really cold here in MD today so I want to think about warmer weather and hummers! These were all taken with a Samsung point and shoot digital camera with 21x optical zoom. That was the highly recommended camera from Consumer Reports last year. I am sure the technology is even better now. Most of the feeder photos were from about 10' away - the perching hummers are less than 3' - they are hiding from bullies.
Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Love seeing all these beautiful pics and reading your posts. After many years of trying to attract humming birds, I figured out they come through my area starting in October and stay through February. I have since planted lots of firespike and this year put up a feeder which they actually visit! Now I see them several times a day. Any one else having luck in south florida?
[quote="Bumicu"]Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Love seeing all these beautiful pics and reading your posts. After many years of trying to attract humming birds, I figured out they come through my area starting in October and stay through February. I have since planted lots of firespike and this year put up a feeder which they actually visit! Now I see them several times a day. Any one else having luck in south florida?[/quote]
Welcome to the forum!
Try to get some pics if you can - you can get other species of hummingbirds in southern Florida, like Rufous Hummingbird.
We don't get Hummingbirds here until the last half of April - and then I usually just hear them zinging straight north. The usually don't slow down and stick around until May. We get Rufous around the latter half of July, but I didn't see any in 2013.
Yes, take pictures! For ID - and so I can get a second-hand Hummingbird fix!