Hummers disappeared this week!

liz72701May 17, 2008

I'm worried about my hummers. I've had two that have been frequent visitors to my feeder the past month. Now, it's been 4 days and no sign of them at all. We had rain Wed and Thurs but it's been sunny and 70's yesterday and today. I live in the Fayetteville, AR area. Has anyone seen this?

Liz

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dominidan

Liz, it must be a zone 6 thing. I'm wondering if I should have changed the nectar right after the rain. The things we need to know!!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:04PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

There is a very good chance that they are nesting since that is the main reason for their migration north.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:12PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Or the ones that you had are still migrating and moving north?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:19PM
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liz72701

I finally did see them in a bush in the front yard today. The female was sitting on a branch and the male was hovering back and forth in front of her so I guess they must be mating. Would that cause them to stop coming to the feeder?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:05PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

When the female arrives she starts scoping out nesting areas and the males are setting up territories and looking for females. Once the female finds an appropriate sight she will start the process nest building and then she will lay her eggs. The male is off looking for another conquest. Visits to the feeder will be sporadic until after the hatchlings are big enough to go longer without mamma. Once they fledge, mom resumes her normal schedule.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 11:18PM
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rembetika(austin, TX)

interesting.... so how does the mom eat while nesting with the young babies, if she can't be on a normal schedule?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 4:11AM
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Happy_Go_Lucky_Gayle(z9TX Colorado Cty)

We have had at least 4-5 Hummers at any given time this Spring. But they are also not around this week. We are in a dry spell. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. I don't have a bird bath because of misquitos, but am thinking about it now.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 3:39PM
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bdriver71(z6pa)

Liz, same thing here. First several, then none for weeks. then a quick glimpse of a male 4 days ago and a female yesterday. Today I saw one in the honey suckle. The feeders are barely being used. I had 2 posessive males last year. Were guarding the feeders regulary. Always here. None of that this year. I'm keeping a hummer diary this year to compare with next year. It just doesn't seem the norm for previous years. Zone 6 also.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 5:09PM
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mrfixit77845(8)

mine also dissapeared. they hadd been comming for 2 years and growing steadily. last week the males dissapeared and only the females were feeding now they r gone and the feeders are feedin bees only woe is me

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 6:46PM
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coniferfreak(z6 PA)

Same here, unfortunately. I feel like I am wasting my time maintaining my feeder for nothing. I haven't even seen one of them yet this year. Last year we had a few hummers, and the year before we had a nest up in a tree so the mommy kept visiting the feeder and making trips back and forth every few minutes between the nest and the feeder. It was fun to watch. But this year something is different... I don't know where they are! :(

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 11:04PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

rembetika
When the female is sitting on the eggs she can go much longer without food. She may go into torpor to conserve her energy but I am not positive. Usually when mune are nesting I try and have a feeder in the general vicinity of where I think the feeder is so she can sneak in for a quick snack but even then I may only see them once or twice a day. I do have over ten feeders but I only put a few out early on. At least one is near heavy shrubery and small branced trees and then others are in quickly accessable from any point in my yard.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 2:26PM
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rembetika(austin, TX)

i talked to a local gardening store & they have seen hardly any hummers & butters either. the general consensus is that it's too ungodly hot (as we are hitting 100 already) and they have probably already migrated further north. :(((( this is the first year i've even seen this happen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 7:24PM
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scouterbecky(6 Southern IL)

Very same thing happening here--the last 2 days no hummers at all. I am thinking it could be because the honeysuckle is in bloom.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 10:18PM
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dominidan

I ran into trouble here for the last three or four days. It seams this evening things are getting back to normal with this female. How long does it take for the eggs to hatch and the babies are able to fly?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:43PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

The incubation period is between 14-23 days after the second egg is laid and they are ready to leave the nest in about 3 weeks.

Penny

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:47PM
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dominidan

Thanks penny. I knew it wasn't very long. That's amazing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:21PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

You are most welcome

Penny

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:43PM
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franksantora_hotmail_com

Have no fear! They WILL be back and probably in such large numbers you will be grateful for the times when it was only occasional visits. I have been feeding them for 4 years and the first year I put down some bug killer on the lawn- and my hummers disappeared. I was sick over it because I hardly EVER use any poison anywhere... Well I did the research and found out they disappear for a few weeks for some swwweeeeet hummer lovin' : ) Give it until about June 15th till you you think you have been abandoned.
Now that I am known in the hummer community for my super clean (washed, scrubbed, and well rinsed in mild bleach TWO TIMES A WEEK AT LEAST) feeders and fresh solution (boiled water..add sugar...boil for 3 mins more and cool in fridge) which is changed (usually consumed!) daily I have clouds of hummers in the past 2 years. I mean like drinking close to a quart of solution per day.

Don't give up, and the secret is keep the feeders SUPER clean and the solution fresh fresh fresh. If you wait till it's cloudy shame on you.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 4:11PM
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dominidan

Thanks frank, I've been trying. Every time it rains, I change the nectar. It's about to rain any minute.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 5:00PM
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seamommy(7bTX)

Thanks Frank, I was also getting a little concerned. I had about a dozen hummers coming around ever since April 2 when I saw the first one. I couldn't keep the feeders filled fast enough. Every day I was coming home from work and all of them were empty. But for the past two weeks I have only seen one male on a regular schedule working my larkspur in the backyard and not going near the feeders in the front.

We are very careful not to use chemicals and have asked our neighbors to avoid using them too. The neighbors have all complied since we explained about hummers because they love the hummers too. Our bonus has been a bumper crop of lightening bugs this year. You never saw such a display at twilight. But I'll sure be glad to see the hummers come back. Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 10:11AM
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christy2828(8a)

Happy go lucky gayle, you can get your birdbath and put in mosquito dunks. I have lots of birds that bathe in mine, and I don't have to worry about those blood suckers!! Christy :)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 10:27PM
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marykayeee(Z5PA)

The very same thing happened to me this week. I have counted 20-30 hummers every evening feeding at my 3 feeders and was so excited. This is the most I have ever had. All at once, they are gone. I have seen two or three at once the last 2 days. After reading this post, I have hope that they may come back soon. I never remembering this happening in other years. I will be on the lookout for them!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 4:14PM
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scouterbecky(6 Southern IL)

Christy, what are 'mosquito dunks'?
Becky

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:05PM
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