Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Hummingbird Happenings

They're not always so gracious about sharing
It's been quite a week for hummingbirds in my garden.  We had some torrential rains for a couple of days, so I moved the feeders up to our front porch undercover.  My thought was that this would allow the 10 or 15 hummingbirds that have been hanging around a dry place to eat.  It worked, but I think every hummingbird from a mile around got the word about these undercover feeders. 

When I step out on my front porch it's almost like an infestation!  This happened a few years ago too.  I'm not sure the reason behind it, but seems like every couple of years we get *way* more than our share of hummers.

A female rufus coming in for a landing
I have 2 feeders out and I've been filling them both 2 times each day!  That's a lot of nectar.  I decided to take advantage of this natural phenomenon and see if I could snap up some nice photos.  Boy did I!  I've spent an hour or more each day sitting on the porch taking pictures.  In fact I've spent so much time sitting with the birds I'm starting to be able to tell one from another!

Flowers for hummers and berries for other birds!
I'm certainly no expert on hummingbirds, but here's some things I've done to attract them to my yard and garden.  First off, hang your feeders in the early spring.  The sooner they know you have feeders up, the more likely they will make a home in your yard.  Also, plant native plants that are attractive to these little birds.  My favorite for hummingbirds is a native salmon berry.  It has a bright pink flower that really brings them in. Another native plant that they can't seem to get enough of is Salaal.  It's not showy, but makes a great landscape plant and the tiny flowers are filled with nectar.  Check with your local nursery for other plants that are known to attract hummingbirds.

I've posted this recipe before, but now there's been a revision.  New research shows that there's no need to boil your hummingbird nectar.  Just mix up 1 cup cane sugar with 4 cups water.  Shake or stir to disolve the sugar and add to your feeders.  Make in large batches and store in the refridgerator.  Also, be sure to clean out your feeders regularly.  I do mine at least 1 x per week.  If the nectar in your feeders is not eaten in 1 week, discard and fill with new nectar.

Here's a slide show of my best photos.  There's a lot but they are so pretty I had to share them all. Enjoy!

PS  I wrote a follow up post with some tips and tricks for getting your own great shots of hummingbirds. 


  1. You got some awesome shots. Thanks for sharing!

  2. one can never have too many hummingbirds.... we had babies one year in one of the willows... It was wonderful....wonderful pictures... enjoy your friends

  3. What great photos! They are amazing!
    What kind of camera did you use?

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. There are many things that you can plant to attract hummingbirds to your yard. This includes things such as the petunia, annual red salvia, autumn sage and shrimp plants, or the firebush.

    Now here is a few tips concerning hummingbird feeders. Hope they will serve as a helpful reminder to people.

    If you choose to make your own homemade nectar solution, you need to bring this solution to a boil for 1 1/2 minutes and then let it cool down. You now have a mixture much more similar to that of the flower nectar.

    Nectar solutions should be changed every three to five days, because hot weather can cause rapid bacterial growth.

    It is not necessary to add food coloring, especially if the feeder has a red blossom at the feeding point.

    Red food coloring is unhealthy for hummingbirds.

    Honey should not be used to feed hummingbirds because it attracts bees and favors the growth of a black fungus that causes a fatal liver and tongue disease in hummingbirds.

    If you wish to discover much more valuable information, please click on the lick below. You will be glad you did!

    Click Here To Check Out The Discover The Amazing Humming Bird Audio CD

  5. Thank you all! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

    aLmYbNeNr, I have an Olympus fe 12 megapixel camera. It's nothing too special, just point and shoot. In fact this is a $50 camera. I have some tips for photographing hummingbirds which I'll be posting on the blog soon so stay tuned! :0)

    Zoe, Thanks for sharing your tips and recommended hummingbird plants.

    It's true if your hummingbirds are not draining your feeders within a few days, boiling your nectar will help retard the growth of bacteria. In my case I'm filling feeders 2x per day so there's no time for bacteria to grow!

    Another important note (included in one of my earlier hummer posts) Be sure to wash your feeders thouroughly when changing the nectar or at least 1 x per week. Use hot soapy water with 1 tsp bleach per sinkful. Be sure to dry thouroughly before refilling.


Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!


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