I think I saw one

mehitabel(z6 MO)April 20, 2014

A tiny bird just shot by my window too fast to really see what it was, and went into a holly bush. It flitted around in there out of sight except for flashes of a tiny head, then all of a sudden he kind of stood on his head and I got a clear view of a tiny bird bottom and under the tail -- it was white.

I think it was a hummer, because of the speed, the size and the white bottom.

Please say I'm right :)

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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

I hope it is! I'm sure you'll be looking out the window all day now. ;)

I just saw one this morning! It was a male and he came to the red honeysuckle and the Salvia coccineas that I still haven't planted on the back railing (and of course now I don't want to plant them in the ground. Laugh).
He was gorgeous and so tiny and his wings were a blur.
I love these little guys so much. :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 12:11PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

They are truly wonderful, Robert. I should have all kinds of flowers open here in another week or two, including red honeysuckle, so hopefully I'll see them then. I hope I don't have to wait for July for them to come to the feeders.

Last summer there was constant whizzing and chasing each other around all day. Seemed bleak and lifeless once they left.

Looking forward to this summer.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 12:41PM
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davessels

I am so excited for you, I hope many more return soon. I think the most amazing thing was, when I saw my first Hummer this season, I heard him first! I wlll have lots of blooms by July, so If I don't see another until then at least I know it is possible. Keep us posted on future sightings.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Still no sightings, Mehitabel?

We've only seen two so far and my friend in OKC finally saw one yesterday. I'm happy for her.
I really don't know why I bother trying to attract them in the spring. Maybe I should just stick with having things blooming for them come July?

-Robert

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:23AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Still nothing, Robert. I'll admit I'm a little disappointed, but my expectations were probably too high. All we have blooming is redbud and dogwood. In two more weeks I'll have red columbine and red honeysuckle, heuchera and maybe other things.

Even so, they're so tiny and quick they're hard to see. They could easily be out there and not used to my feeder yet (wasn't out there this time last year). Can't watch every minute, and they're hard to see unless they're chasing each other around. Last year that's the first thing that I noticed-- all those high speed chases.

I'm not giving up yet. This time of year it's cool enough so I only have to change the feeders every 6 days--no work at all.

Pretty soon there'll be a mama with babies to feed and I want to be there to get them if they're willing. The books say they remember where they found food the year before, so if you get a bunch of hungry babies this year, next year you'll have a lot of grown up birds coming.

(The books again :) The books say a new batch of hatchlings eats for a few days then the mother chases them off (that way siblings don't mate). Then the little new guys are lowest on the pecking order and have to find a new place to eat. If we miss them now, we may catch them then.

So I'm going to wait for that little hungry guy that is too hungry to be picky :)

With all the hummingbird plants you've been putting in, you're bound to have some that chance on you and then hang around.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

I sure hope so! My heucheras and red honeysuckle and red salvia are blooming their heads off.

I hope you see some soon as well.

Okay. Which books are you quoting from?
I ordered 3 or 4 this year but I don't think any are what you've been quoting.

-Robert

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Charlee_MO(z6 MO)

I'd almost bet it was a hummer, mehitabel. I put a feeder out last Sunday and within hours they were using it. I thought I had spotted one about a week earlier.

Our flowers/trees etc. are way behind in blooming this year. I have almost nothing in bloom.

By yesterday they had emptied my one feeder. :) Looks like we are in the same zone, too.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:25AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Charlee, yes, I feel sure it was a hummer. Other birds don't move so fast, and the head was very tiny.

It's so good to hear from someone in MO who has activity. You're so right-- hardly anything in bloom, tho I have some red columbines just about ready to open. Trouble is that's in a place where I can't see it from the windows, so they could be there and I'd never know.

I'm hoping if I'm patient enough, I'll get some at the feeders this early one of these years.

Last year I started to see them in July when the agastache started to bloom. But that's right in my window, so couldn't miss them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:26AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Robert, the books I have are

Hummingbirds: A celebration... by Ben Sondar (mostly a picture book with some about tropical birds)

The World of the Hummingbird by Robert Burton

The Ruby Throated Hummingbird by June Osborne

Wild Bird Guides: Ruby Throated Hummingbird by Robert Sargent

I looked quickly thru them to find where the reference was to young birds low on the pecking order for food. Couldn't find it on a quick look, tho Sargent makes reference to adults beating up young birds who blunder into their territory. Sargent on p 53 refers to birds remembering where the feeders were last year.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Thank you!
Just ordered a used copy of the Sargent book though I'm also tempted by Osborne's book. ;)

-Robert

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Charlee_MO(z6 MO)

Where I'm at-the Bootheel- I always seem to see them by April 15th.
There were many years I would call my mama and tell her to put her feeder up. More than once, she'd have one feeding before I would. :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:50AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Charlee, good to hear that. I'm in St Louis (suburbs). I had some last July til October, so I'm going to keep trying til I get some :)

Would you mind telling me what you have in your yard? I figure even if they end up at the feeders, it's the flowers that get them to stop in the first place.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:08AM
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