humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

eigdeh(z6 NJ)March 28, 2009

I came here to ask when is the right time to put out feeders to attract hummingbirds here in New Jersey. Looking at the action on this forum I gather I am a little late?

I saw hummingbirds in my yard late June last year. After seeing them I bought some feeders and guess what... they disappeared. All summer of changing the water sugar mix every three days got old without seeing any birds and it never paid off. :c(

Am I best to put out the feeders now? I thought it was a little early as there is still a few days of freeze possible.


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Hi there - I am a little south of you in Milford De. I put my first feeders out on March 9, even though there is little chance of seeing a hummer till the end of March.
I choose to be early because in the remote chance of an early visitor-I want to be able to help them survive. There is simply not much in bloom here yet.
According to last years hummingbird migration map, Delaware's first hummers were seen on March 27-and March 29.
You really want to get those feeders up today. According to the migration map there have been no sightings in N.J. yet(or in Delaware for that matter).
Also keep in mind that sugar water freezes at a lower temp than regular water.
I will be hoping that you will have MANY hummers this year--don't give up because they are worth the patient wait!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 11:33AM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Thanks vickilovesboxers!

I just put them up. I sure hope it works this year. It is very labor intensive to change the water when nothing is using it. LOL

I know in the summer one should change the mix every three days, even sooner in real hot weather. What about early spring when the temps are lower? Do you guys go longer?


    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 4:12PM
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At this time of the year I will let my feeders go 4 to 5 days-especially since I do not even have any birds yet. As long as it is in the 50 to 60+ degree daytime temperature range that is very safe. Some people go longer than that-but I never do.

I must say that in July and August when we are in the 90 degree range I change my feeders daily. I do not have many shady places for my feeders so it is a must for me to change daily.

I will have a total of seven feeders up in late may on to the end of the season, because I have so many birds feeding and most are very territorial.
Believe me it is a chore to change 7 feeders daily-but well worth it as my feeders are so popular.

If you have just a couple of favorite hummingbird plants(butterfly bush or quince or trumpet vine) you are very much more likely to have hummers.
If you have some good plants for them they WILL find your feeders.

May you have a yardfull this year!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 9:46AM
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No you are not too late. The season is just beginning.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:20AM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Thanks Vickylovesboxers and mimidi!

I have a bunch of plants that hummers like which is why I was surprised that they did not stick around for more than a few days last year. :c( Hopefully things will be different.

What do you guys do when you go away? Not a big traveler here, but we do go away at least once in the summer. I have someone come to the house a few times during the day to take care of our pooch, but I am not sure I want to ask them to change the nectar. Since it is summer and full of natural food would it be best to empty the feeders for the week?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 5:36PM
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I expect disagreement from some of the forum members, but as cool as it is in NJ, I really don't think you need to change the nectar in your feeders more than once a week, until it gets hot.
I have currently high temps in the eighties, and clean and change the feeders about every five days.
And during the summer, with highs in the nineties here every day, I clean them and put fresh nectar in twice a week.
I always watch for black spots growing inside the feeders,. If I see any, I clean them with bleach and water. Rinsing throughly with hot water.
I use filtered water, not bottled or tap water with the one to four ratio of sugar to water. Why filtered water? Because it removes chlorine, and if the tap water tastes bad to me, I expect it does to my hummers as well. Why give them water that you donÂt like to drink?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:39PM
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Feeders are fun, but why not plant some flowers they like, too? Even if you don't have space to garden, put a couple containers near the feeder and fill them with salvia, firebush or firecracker plants. Then when you are on vacation or forget to change the feeder, they'll still have something.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:28PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Thanks Rob! I'll let it go a little over 3 days till the warmer weather arrives, which should be soon. LOL

Thanks Kate!
I have perennial Salvia, the others I will have to look up. I do have a bunch of plants that they do like, so hopefully those will help.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:39PM
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