They really are out there!

mehitabel(z6 MO)May 9, 2014

There is a wild Bush Honeysuckle that is an invasive weed all over St Louis, anywhere there's a bare patch of ground someone doesn't chase them off of. For all I know it's everywhere in the US by now.

It gets to be about 10' x 10', and it's blooming now. Thousands and thousands of tiny white flowers cover the bush from top to bottom for a week or two.

I wondered if hummers would feed off it, hardly seems they could ignore all that honeysuckle. Sure enough, this evening, about 6:45 staring off into a wild place at the edge of the yard, and there was a hummer feeding off them. It was a male-- he turned to stare at us for a few seconds, and I saw that red gorget. In the right light it is a brilliant, blazing red.

So we decided to sit out there and watch. Half an hour later a hummer came up to flutter at one of the feeders. Only for a few seconds. Either he doesn't know how to feed, or our new and unexpected presence scared him off.

I say him, but couldn't tell the sex-- the light was going. So maybe it was the same one. I'm hoping not.

But, hey! They really are out there! Now I just have to get them to come to my feeders often enough so I can catch a glimpse of them.

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YAY, mehitabel! It never gets less exciting with each and every one. They love teasing us I think... Never getting a good look all at one time to hold your interest. It is so fun to have someone to watch with you. My DH and I sat out this evening for hours waiting for our little hummer that never showed, but we just enjoyed the doves ect. What a date night! We enjoy this so much!
So happy for you, now they will come in droves for you with all of your new plantings..

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hooray! I'm so happy for you!

We only had a male (or males since I'm not for certain it was the same bird) until Thursday I believe when we saw a female (or a juvenile male).
Sure enough she (I'd like to think it was a female) came to the red and 'Goldflame' honeysuckles.
We only have the wild Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) in our front yard.
It smelled amazing tonight but I know how invasive it is.
The one growing was courtesy of the birds. ;)
I've read they normally stop going to feeders if the Japanese honeysuckle is in bloom.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:45PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Debra, yes, it's lovely sitting out there with someone in the cool shade watching and listening to all the birds calling. We have a tiny woods behind the house, so lots of birds, and a robin who hops around everywhere I've been digging.

Hi, Robert. Your visitor had to be a female. Juvies get adult coloring their second year and it's too early for babies (I think). That means you've got a nest nearby, so juveniles in June for you, I think.

This isn't the fragrant honeysuckle vine, which really is lovely at night. This is much more invasive than Japonica. It's a bush, not a vine, and not much fragrance. Doesn't bloom all summer, just a couple of weeks in May. Lots of berries, tho, and the birds see they get around. Honeysuckle everywhereica :). If you don't have it, you're very lucky.

BTW, I'm looking for a 'Goldflame' since your mention of it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:37AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Two more visits this evening right before 7 pm and at 7:10. But they didn't feed--again just hovering. I think my presence is scaring them off.

Tomorrow I'll try to watch from further away. I want to see them actually using the feeders.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:07PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Back again at 10:25 AM, but again just hovering. I think they can see all the way into my kitchen and aren't used to seeing me yet.

But anyway, Patience is Rewarded! It's just like the Pros said, put up the feeders and they will come.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:37PM
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mehitabel, They are feeding on the honeysuckle right? As long as they are feeding on something, and coming back, the feeders where worth the trouble just to attract them.. right, or make you think they would. I have the Mantra, " If you build it, they will come" That makes me laugh, I am actually proud they went to the honeysuckle. I hope to have something blooming by July for sure. LOL
I made a horrible discovery today when I was cleaning and filling my feeders. They are made to be drip proof, so after you fill them you have to pull the top up to release the nectar, which I did not realize until today. I thought they were getting nectar, but they weren't.. No wonder they aren't crazy about my feeders... Problem fixed. I am so remorseful, poor babies.
I haven't seen any in a few day, but we have had horrible winds. At least we know they are out there. Enjoy them, I can't believe you got to see the throat on yours. Happy HB watching, Debra

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:03PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thanks for the good wishes, Deb. Much appreciated. No, they are actually coming to the feeders, but just hovering for a second or two, not settling down to feed. But I've seen them now twice a day for three days in a row, so I do think they are eating there. They wouldn't keep coming back otherwise.

I guess my presence is scaring them away. Last July they could stand me being there, so they'll get used to me over time. For a few days I'm going to leave them alone, let them comeand go as they please without trying to watch. The feeders are out on the deck and from there they can see all the way into my kitchen.

It's good that you discovered your feeders weren't working. They'll be back. As you said, hang the feeders and they will come. And we know they're out there!

They have to work so hard just to not starve to death, so they'll try again, and this time they'll get the good stuff. Be sure to post when they come back. I hope your yard is full of them by July, whizzing around and chasing each other just like you remember at your Mom's.

(I bought two new feeders yesterday-- I'm counting on getting lots of them :D)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:27PM
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