Yet Another: How Do I Get Them To Use My Feeder Question

suntower(z5 WA)July 13, 2014

Seattle area. The hummers all go to the back of my yard and whiz around the various bushes, but try as I might, they -never- will use my typical inverted feeder I put on my back porch so I can -see- them.

I've tried various special-purpose food mixes, sugar-water, various ways to clean the feeder. Various positions on the porch. No dice. I dunno if it's the -feeder- per se or that they don't want to get near the house but I'd appreciate any tips on attracting them to within visual range.

I've kinda gotten obsessed trying to figure out what the deal is. I keep reading how 'desperate' they are for calories but these guys don't even seem to -notice- (or want to notice) my feeder.

BTW: I dunno if it matters, but most of the ones I see in my area are small and kinda green or gray. Sometimes the gray ones have a green or gray throat. There are a rare few that are yellow-ish.

Tips?

This post was edited by suntower on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 3:17

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Shimmer1228

I placed my feeder where I saw the hummingbirds in my yard, until I saw them feeding off it, then every day I moved it a couple a feet closer to the spot I wanted to keep mine hung so I could see mine. They moved with it and mine now hangs right on the back porch. If that doesn't work, they might just be more interested in the flowers and protien in your bushes. Good luck. I get mine in early May and then August. I've been trying to get some to stay all summer like my mom has with no luck.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:33PM
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gardengal48

Place a big pot of some hummingbird attracting annual on your back porch and hang the feeder close by. They'll discover it in no time. And I find some feeders are more appealing than others - forget the fancy blown glass ones and go with the cheapo plastic discs. These tend not to spoil as fast in hot weather and give the hummers a perch for feeding......all the better to watch them!!

And the species you are describing are most likely Anna's. They are year round residents in the Puget Sound area and are not the most colorful hummers on the planet, especially when juveniles. Adult males often have iridescence and a red throat.

And I'd not worry about them being fearful of the house. IME, hummers are not afraid of much - not me , not the house, not my cat (who knows he's not anywhere as fast and just looks) or the dog. In fact, I am a little bit afraid of them coming into the house as a hanging basket they frequent is right by the back door that is almost always open in hot weather. And they hover and stare at me through the windows.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:03PM
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suntower(z5 WA)

Where you wrote:

"Place a big pot of some hummingbird attracting annual on your back porch and hang the feeder close by."

Can you suggest some types of flowers? We really don't get too many annuals. TIA.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 8:12PM
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gardengal48

By annuals, I also mean tender perennials grown as annuals.

Try from this list:
cuphea
digiplexis
fuchsia
nicotiana
calabrachoa (Million belles)
lantana
salvia
petunias
cannas
nasturtiums

Doesn't have to be an annual - a generous perennial planting will work just as well. Bee balm, phygelius, agastache are all possible candidates.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:31PM
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