humming birds

MiKru(7b/8)July 9, 2013

Has anyone had a year when humming birds just failed to find your feeder? We've had one up for two months now, with nary a bird. Usually by this time we have one or two regular feeders.

Just wondering. I'd rather miss them if they skip my house this summer.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You don't give a location.

The scouts show up in East Central AL (Calhoun County) around March 28 and two partially filled feeders are out by March 15.

At present, we have a male and female HB show up several times a day. We know that large numbers show up later in the season and by then, we have at least four filled feeders out.

"During nesting time hummingbirds may not be as likely to come to feeders. They are feeding insects to their young. Once the young have left the nest and during the fall migration you will probably noticed increased activity at your feeder.

In North America, hummingbirds will nest in the spring and early summer.

Hatchlings spend about three weeks in the nest. The female hummingbird feeds them regurgitated insects instead of the nectar she eats."


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Much less hummers this year and the ones here are going to flowers but not feeders. I keep the feeders clean and refilled.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just put my feeders out a few days ago, but no takers yet. I haven't seen any hummingbirds in my yard this year except the one that buzzed me in March when I walked near the old feeder spot. (Hey! Where's my feeder!)

Unfortunately, the scarlet runner beans I planted for them were a total failure this year and not much else is growing to attract them right now except the gnats and mosquitoes... and those are everywhere.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 7:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Finally started to get some regular visitors this week -- two of them (at war with each other, as usual). Took them awhile!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Years past I had them show up for a week or two in Spring and then totally disappear with no visitors for what seemed to be weeks. This year I have a constant stream of hummers. I even took my feeders down for cleaning for more than a week and they showed up the day I hung them. I was concerned I might have ran them off. .

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They have found my feeders, or at least a few small females or juveniles have.

I wonder this every year... what do they think of feeders? Do they think it's an amazing refilling plant that we steal from time to time and their scolding makes us bring it back? Or do they recognize we're the source?

They certainly recognize the feeder person; they ignore my SO but keep a eye on me when I go outside. It *seems* they recognize that I fill the feeder but that might be a bit of an anthropomorphic stretch.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Oooh, most people totally underestimate a bird's ability to think, recognize people, etc. As far as HBs go, I've been able to have them perch on my finger when feeding many times in different states.

I had one female who would come all the way inside my living room every morning! She would WAIT for me at the back door, squeaking her little head off. I'd open the door and sit down in my chair and she would swoop in, making a tour of the perimeter of the room, seeming to look at this and that. She would always stop to look at the fish tank before she'd swoop out. Her tour would last three or four minutes.

This always occurred in the wee dawn hours, still dark outside. I'd keep my lights off, except for the fish tank. She did this for two years; when she never showed up the third year, I was so sad.

If you 'think ' that one of these birds recognizes you, it probably does.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I'd given up on our feeder too but DH put it back up Sunday. Sure enough, he saw one visiting it. I've been changing it daily since then and have seen a visitor twice this morning already. Really small ones. There's giant Lantana and butterfly bushes all over the yard that I know they love, but I wonder if all of this rain is washing the nectar out of the flowers. Rain every day for over a month now. Today's batch of 'nectar' is cooling off, will change the feeder in a few minutes. I'm hooked!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey that was cool! As soon as I hung it back up, it was inspected!

Hours later...
This isn't as cool as having one with a cool routine like Rhizo described, (which I really enjoyed reading but failed to say so above,) but so far today, between family members, we have recorded 8 times when the hummer(s?) has visited the feeder since 10 AM.

This post was edited by purpleinopp on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 17:17

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

DH got some good pics when he got home from work yesterday. At least one of them has developed a sense of possession, chasing other birds away. Today I hung the 2nd one in a different spot. This is sooo cool!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lovely shots!

My feeders have a perch. Last year, it seemed like hardly any of them used the perch, but this year they are all perching and staying there for a while sipping and waiting, sipping and waiting.

Unless another hummer comes along to chase them off, but the aggression has been pretty mild this year. I suppose the one relates to the other.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Interesting! I know nothing about these tiny little cuties, except some of the plants they like to visit, but eager to learn. Hoping that separating the 2 feeders will help them stay a little less agitated with each other (as well as also offer another view of them from where I sit at computer.)

What about the rain thing? If it's raining several times a day every day for weeks, it seems like that would wash the nectar out of the flowers, causing a real problem for them, but it's just a theory.

Do any other critters visit a hummingbird feeder (besides ants?)

DH did some searching last night and said there are 11 kinds of hummers that could be in this area. I didn't know there were that many at all.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only hummingbirds you are likely to see in their area are ruby-throated. Some of the colder climate hummers are said to occasionally show up in the late fall, but I've never seen one for sure.

Bees will sometimes visit feeders.

They are very aggressive and territorial birds. Sometimes you can get them to share by placing several feeders close together... and sometimes not. Usually one hummer takes over a feeder as his or hers and chases all the others off.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Those are some great photos purpleinopp. It's amazing to see a still shot of a hummingbird's wings.

We only have one feeder in the front of the house, but it's pretty common for them to fly around and look in the windows of the house.

The other day I caught some checking out my red hot peppers, which are drying outside.

Definitely ants and bees like the feeder.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Purple, I did some reading last night and was amazed at the number of species that can be observed in Alabama....especially the southern areas! You'll have to be your usual observant self!

Are your great pictures true to color? I've never seen a hummer with such yellowish golden colors.

I've seen an occasional finch at my feeders, and assorted yellow jackets and wasps. Once they take over, I just take the feeders down for a few days. I think that it was someone in the Hummingbird Forum who posted a video of an anole making its way to a feeder and drinking out of it! I'll have to see if I can find it. The ants are the worst...a spray of WD-40 on the post or chain works for me. I have feeders on shepherd's hooks and it works on them. Oh, keep an eye out for praying mantids hanging around or on a feeder. There are hundreds of images and videos of that gruesome spectacle.

P.S. Google Carolina Anole on teeter totter feeder to see a YouTube video. I can't post a link from my Kindle.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I've seen some kind of wasp enjoying the feeders, but have seen hardly any bees at all this summer. The ants have been freaking out, trying to stay dry, and much more mobile this year, really annoying.

Nicole, that was part of my thought about separating the feeders instead of having both in the same spot. They're around a corner from each other, out of sight, so maybe a diff bird will 'take possession' of each?

We were watching a documentary about hummers out west somewhere and the littlest one was chasing off bigger hummers and other birds. What brave little critters! Kind of reminds me of chihuahuas, ready to take on any enemy - and they're all bigger!

Mikru, glad you like them!

Rhizo, here's the link. You had put it in here. I have some stuff to add to that, now that it's been brought to my attention again. Thanks for remind me of both!

DH didn't do anything to alter the pics, but the flash was probably going off. It was a dark, overcast evening, just before dusk. I didn't see that gold-ness until looking at the pics later, not something I could see while they were in action.

I think DH looked at this. I know we have a bookmark on this site. Don't know if we are considered gulf coast area or not, it's about 70 miles as the crow flies from our house to the sand. It says most of them would only be seen in passing, but I'm flattered that anyone might think I could tell one from another. DH thought we saw 2 kinds, but we agreed they could be male/female or juveniles/adults. I have no idea, and head is too full of plants, eyesight too poor to try to 'learn hummingbirds' but if we get s'more pics, maybe we can decide what kind(s) has (have) visited.

When they go buzzing by, it's hard to even be sure that's what it was...! If they would hold still...

This is the same one, forgot to ask before, is it a ruby-throated?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Female ruby-throated or immature male. Immature males often have a lot more gold and sometimes the start of red spots on the throat in the late fall, but it's probably too soon for any spots to show up.

I have one feeder on front and one in back. In the past that's meant two hummers hogging them. I have seem people with like 7 or 8 feeders all close together that seem to have relative peace (for hummers), and there's someone I drove by last year that had three feeders within a few feet of each other, I think, and a whole HORDE of hummers around them.

I like the Outdoor Alabama site, but when they say things like "accidental" or "rare" that means they been spotted a handful of times, maybe. You are far enough south you might see some of the others, but I doubt we will ever see anything but ruby throated up this way. Some of the western US and Mexican hummers are astonishingly colored. I'd love to see them.

BTW, the National Geographic Bird Guide is my favorite. I like the identification art in my ancient "Birds of North America" much better, but the ranges are just woefully out of date. It says we don't have house finches. Ha!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

I don't have any feeders but I have been seeing some very dark, almost black colored hummers around my coral honeysuckles.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Thanks, Nicole!

This one likes butterfly bush. (DH's pic, not mine.)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Took this pic a few minutes ago.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The other day a goldfinch was enjoying dessert at my feeder. I had no idea, but apparently it's not that uncommon for other birds to have a sweet tooth.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I caught this Downy in 2006

and we had House Finches earlier in the season.

By the time I was able to get my camera, the Snout had moved up on the feeder.

This post was edited by terramadre on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 7:52

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Great pictures! I would have never believed other critters visted a feeder.other than ants.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Veggies for Spring Swap
I am ordering seeds to grow vegetable starts for the...
Living willow tunnel
I want to build a living tunnel in the backyard for...
New to Dothan AL
Hi We have just recently moved to the south from Illinois...
Goodbye GardenWed Gardners...
Just logged in to say goodbye... This will be my first...
Just logged in to say goodbye
The new site didn't recognize me as sundog7, but wouldn't...
Sponsored Products
Original Audubon Artwork Plate #394
Gothic Three-Light Flush-Mount In Bronze
$207.10 | Bellacor
Iittala | Birds by Toikka, Hiplu Grey
Runner Rug: Angelo:HOME Dark Olive Green 2' 6" x 8' Contemporary
Home Depot
Dogit Style Vest Urban Reflective - 91041
$25.00 | Hayneedle
Red Bird Hummingbird Feeder
$8.99 | zulily
Shibori Hanging Copper Bird House - Antique Copper
Signature Hardware
Lazy Hill Farm Designs Lazy Hill Bird Feeder
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™