Hummers!

jel48(Z4 Michigan)September 4, 2007

We have been enjoying the hummingbirds so much this past couple of weeks. Since moving into this yard (and house) 4 years ago, I've planted so many hummingbird attracting plants and we only get a few in the spring and (the last couple of years) one female who stayed all summer long. But the last two weeks we've been seeing them constantly... probably tanking up for the long haul south, or maybe stopping by for a break on the trip south from a much more northerly summer breeding ground. Whatever the reason, it's been so much fun. We have hummers sipping from the honesuckle, sucking up the nector from the feeders, and dive-bombing around the yard. We even see them sitting on the fence or the edge of the feeder or the branch in an evergreen tree by the garden shed. And we've spotted a young one (half to two thirds the size of an adult) the last two days on the feeder outside our bay window. Yesterday he was just sitting there taking a break! I wish I'd had my camera in hand, but it was still a treat just standing there watching him rest.

It's funny how the hummers blend in with the honeysuckle. Sometimes we only spot them because of the movement. I tooks some pics the other day and it's like looking for that one piece of a puzzle. I could crop these so you could see the hummers more easily but thought it would be fun to post them and just let you look for them! There is one hummer in each pic... unless, of course, I missed a second or third one :-) I don't think so though... so go under the assumption one per pic.

So, who else has hummingbird stories and pics to share?

Love those hummers!

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iowa_flower_nut(5)

We don't get to see them often at our house, but one evening last week I certainly had a Hummer encounter!
I was sitting on my front step at around 7pm just enjoying the nice weather. There is a pot of black and blue salvia about a foot away from where I was sitting and a hummer came up to check it out. I sat very still and it ended up coming over to check ME out! It was facing me about 6 inches from my nose! WOW! He then left to fly around some Zinnias and came right back up to my face again. It was so cool to have it come that close. I was almost wondering if it could see it's reflection in my glasses or something. LOL!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 11:20PM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

We usually have a female arrive early in the season, stake out her territory, and defend it against any other hummer, even the male who was probably her mate. I keep one feeder hanging from the front of the house, another from the back so the bossy one isn't able to monopolize the nectar. The spend most of the day zooming around my gardens, and making frequent pit-stops at the feeders. My neighbors have minimal gardens, if that, so I get most of the activity.

A few weeks ago, we had a bunch of new hummingbirds arrive. I assumed they were traveling south, as they hadn't been around before. The fighting around the feeders and in the gardens was so bad that I bought 2 more feeders. One poor little bird took a wrong turn during a fight and smacked into the kitchen window, losing some feathers. Poor baby. No sign of him on the ground, so hopefully he didn't injure himself badly.

My hummingbirds like daylilies, hostas, and impatiens a lot. The seem to visit all of the flowers and flowering shrubs. But nothing compares to their attraction to garden phlox. The butterflies love it the most also. I have many different varieties. Some start bloooming in mid July, and others are still going strog now.

The new visitors have now moved on, so I think I only have 2 little birds remaining. They usually leave some time in September.

A few days ago I went out to fetch one of the feeders that I wanted to clean and refill. I was wearing a bright aqua shirt covered with flowers. Suddenly one of the birds showed up about 3 feet in front of my face, and slowly went back and forth many times, checking me out. It was peeping constantly. Then it sat in a nearby bush, still peeping, and watched as I took away the feeder. When I returned, it showed up and repeated the behavior in front of my face. I realized it was looking at my shirt. I think if I'd hung it out on a hangar it would have tried to sample it. I notice them sometimes looking at flowers in vases on my windowsills, very annoyed that they can't have access.

I will be sad when they leave for the season, but am always worried that they stay too long. I am so thrilled when they return in the spring and look in the kitchen window, as if to say, "Hey, lazy woman, where is my sugar water?"

~Bunnycat

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 9:27AM
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