What a strange year

hummersteveMay 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day to everyone. IM afraid im on the list with so many of you , that the regular hummers are not coming around or establishing themselves. Yes I have had visitors but very spotty at best. I dont quite understand why either, for several years now it seems the hummers establish rather early, certainly by now. But not at my place. Its now looking like I may not get regulars untill june or later and IM sorry but its not making any sense as to why. My feeders are in the same locations mixed the same way as last year, Im truly befuddled at this point.

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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I have been thinking about this phenom quite a bit and talked to my daughter down in Madison today. She also told me she hasn't seen any hummers since the day she saw her first male Apr. 29 when I saw mine.

I think that since so manyplants that are normally blooming by now have been delayed by all the late uncommon freezes the birds may be staying in more wooded areas where there may be wildflowers blooming and holes made by sapsuckers not to mention more protection from the cold than they may find in our yards. We had another frost here last night and possibly another tonight so they aren't out of the woods yet. I have only planted 4 seedlings out so far and that is because they were already 12 inches tall and one is starting to bloom. Even my fuchsia was damaged by this last frost.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 8:08PM
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I have to agree with you that the weather has been an influence on the lateness of blooming of flowers and therefore the hummers too. We have not been close to freezing at nights here but to night it is supposed to dip into the upper 40s for the first time since it warmed up for good. I notice next week they predicting low temps in the mid-40s some nights so I will to keep close watch. I too have only planted 2 or 3 of seedlings I grew, but I have planted the black and blues that I ordered, gave one of those to my sister. Im dissapointed in my lack of ability to bring more seedling thru as I lost most of my agastache seedlings, fear I watered them too much. Since my yard is on the small side I will still have plenty for me and still give a few to my sister. The subrotunda , sal. bonfire and scarlet sage have done very well for me. This has been a learning year for me and I will do better next year, Im already planning on more flatts than I had this year to allow for my inexperience. Guess I sorta got off the subject. Hope you had a great mothers day. This was my first year without my mother, it was strange to say the least.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 10:08PM
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dakster(z6 Cent.CT)

I saw my first on May 8th..one day later than last year.. and he was dancing around my pink Quince...peeped at me as if to say "HI HI HI..I MISSED YOU!" Haven't seen or heard the lil bugger since. Maybe it is all these freeze and frost warnings we are having??

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:18AM
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I don't know if what is happening to me this year is like most people's normal year, or if it's just my own version of the problem you are describing. My experience this year is different than my experience from last year, but not quite like yours. This year, mine came very frequently for the first 5 days, then virtually vanished. Now it's the 9th day since they arrived and they still haven't gotten back to frequent visits. I haven't had much time to watch them today, but I've looked enough to know they're not coming at 15 minute intervals as they had been. I saw the female, yesterday, a couple of times at the native columbine, and then at my feeders, and then off she went. I'll be able to look a little more later in the day today and see what happens.

Last year, they came consistently pretty much from the day they arrived, until the day they left in mid September. Maybe that was the unusual year and it spoiled me. Maybe this year is just the usual nesting absence that many have talked about, and not really like the problem you're experiencing where none of your birds are staying and just seem to be passing through. So, this year has been different for me, too, but maybe not quite as you are describing, with absolutely no sign of any bird settling in.

I hope the situation will get better for everyone soon. It's such an anxious feeling to put so much effort into attracting them, only to have them vanish. I, too, wonder if the weather back in early April is the culprit. The cold stretched deep into the south, and some of our returnees may have been delayed, or even killed by the difficult conditions. Hummingbirds are mysterious little creatures, and their comings and goings can be very mysterious. Just when you think you might have them figured out, they do something to surprise you.

Good luck, everyone!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 2:34PM
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cindra(z5b Ont)

I'm not bragging or complaining but this is the best year for hummers at my place since we moved here. Course, I can only compare it with one summer because this is our second summer here.

I have no flowers blooming yet but I have to refill my feeders every other day, that is a first for me no matter where I have lived.

I also keep an Oriole feeder out and even though the ratio I use for it is a bit different 5:1 than the hummingbird feeders it is getting drained just as fast.

I've seen males since May 4th and females since May 6th, one day earlier than last year.

I have to agree, things seem out of whack if I compare all of this to past experiences no matter where I've lived.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:49PM
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Today I received another weapon to add to my arsenal that may help in this situation. I made a swap with my sister , I gave her some of the extra seedlings I had and then she gave me a goldflame honeysuckle plant. It is a very mature plant ready to flower after it gets over its transplant shock. She didnt mind parting with it because it was in the shade and not doing as well as her other one that was in the sun. So maybe in a few days or wks it will lure some hummers to my yard.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:25PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

Well, the story here is that on April 28th my granddaughter spotted a little ruby-throated male so I put out one feeder. On the 29th the troops arrived en masse......we counted over a dozen at one time so I added the other two feeders. (They hang just outside our dining room window.)

I am now putting out five cups a day and the group seems consistently present. They are so bold that this morning when I was taking one of the feeders down one little guy was literally hanging onto one of the little faux flowers.

Hope they arrive at all your feeders soon!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:51AM
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karbie18(z5 IL)

Unfortunately, what you describe is very common for me. I see one or two of them early in the season, and then I don't get any repeaters until the fall. I was hoping this year would be different, but it doesn't look like it - I had a male at my feeder most of the day on Sunday, and I haven't seen him since. My whole 4-acre property is surrounded by a "fence" of bush honeysuckle right now, so maybe I just need to spend more time outside if I want to see them. However, I was outside for a couple of hours last night, and didn't notice any.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 7:29AM
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I haven't even seen one. I'm outside during all my free time gardening and nada. It's been very depressing but hopefully some will finally make it up here. Maybe when my 100 foot fence line with Morning Glories start blooming I'll see more.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:46AM
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I too am still waiting. :( I posted earlier that there was one or two at separate times that came by one Sat. morning about two weeks ago and just hovered at the feeders a few seconds but never landed before they took off. Not one seen since. I do not understand why they didn't land and get some food. Anybody seen this happen or have any ideas? As many have said it is so discouraging. They came to the same feeders last year.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:06AM
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Im not sure what kind of honeysuckle that is, if it is an invasive it may not work for hummers . My mother had japaneese honeysuckle and it had a fragrance but I didnt see any hummers on it. I know that coral and goldflame attract them.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 5:53PM
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karbie18(z5 IL)

Hi Steve,

I didn't actually plant the honeysuckle to attract hummers - it came with the property. I have seen hummingbirds on it over the years, so I thought that might explain why I can't seem to get regulars at my feeder in spring. As I mentioned, I had one on Sunday, but I haven't seen one since. Ugg!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:52AM
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