More on hummers

hummersteveJuly 12, 2008

IM no expert and dont want to sound that way. If any of you have say 3 or 4 or 5 hummers come to your yard every day why not add more feeders. Most of the experienced hummer enthusiasts know that if you see for example 5 hummers in your yard that the multiplecation theory means you actually have around 20 in your area. Theory-- multiply number of hummer you see by at least 3 or 4. If this is true then why not add feeders to bring in the extra hummers to your yard. Dont put them all together space them out in your yard. Most of you have a much bigger yard than I so it should be no problem.

walmart has these kind of feeders that the hummers really like. Also in the background you can see the habitat that is near me.

here is a shot of hummer guarding feeder being challenged and getting ready for chase

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lovefornature(5B IL)

Hi Hummersteve, I just purchased 4 of those little feeders from Wal-Mart....they are so cute!! I just hope I can figure out how to keep the ants off of them. I think Central Illinois is the major hub of Ant Central.

Great to know that I might actually have 9-10 hummers living in my area. I guess not too bad for non-migration season.

Nice habitat behind you. That must be your secret!!! No houses behind you, open habitat!! I see forestery in the distance. I have pretty decent habit behind me also, only a few houses, then forestry and a creek.

I took a couple of pictures of my Lady in Red and Coral Nymph Salvia today. They are blooming beautifully in whiskey barrels (finally).

I just need to figure out how to get the pics. on my puter because my new puppy chewed up the cord that I plug into the USB port. :(

Think I have a small printer that will accept the memory card and then move it to my computer.

Keep us updated on your lovely habitat!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:06PM
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I have several of these in my yard hanging from tree, hanging from tomato cages, get the idea. I have been lucky and never have had an ant problem here on my feeders just wasps. Gonna have to get off severe thunderstorm going on.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:26PM
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lovefornature(5B IL)

Ahh, you are getting the storm that we had earlier today.

I do have wasps in my yard, but they do not bother my feeders, just the ants.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 9:55PM
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LFN-- I hope you have good luck with your new feeders.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:18PM
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I have 3 feeders, but I also have a very large flower garden (NWF Backyard Habitat and a Certified Monarch Waystation). The hummers use both the feeders and the flowers. All of my gardens include hummer favorites. Do you think this is sufficient, or do I need to add more feeders?


The front outer garden (also deer resistant and drought tolerant):

The butterfly garden (also deer resistant, drought tolerant)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 11:23AM
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If you are asking my opinion you have a very nice garden and should be proud of it. From the pictures you show there is not a lot there that hummers could use, but you do have the black and blue from the first pic that is a popular hummer plant. Im also sure Im not seeing the whole garden so you may have more hummer type plants that Im not seeing. Long story short I would say add feeders, but then again the question arises,, do you have a lot of hummers visit your garden, if so then the question is moot. Your own judgement is always best.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 11:56AM
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lovefornature(5B IL)

Like Hummersteve, I think the question is more about asking yourself how many hummers to you have on a regular basis right now. Also more importantly, how many do you get during migration.

I also wanted to compliment you on your extremely beautiful garden, thanks so much for the pictures. I need some ideas. You must get an abundance of habitat.

May I ask what the little red flowering tree is in the second picture?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:07PM
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gansn(z7 AL)

That's a crepe myrtle. They come in many many colors and bloom from late june until frost. They're kind of a messy plant, but well worth it for the color all season.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:53PM
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Although not easily identified in the garden photos, most all of those flowers are masses (6-36 plants) of these:

salvia (many types)
agastache (many types)
nepeta (they love it)

We have 23 buddleia and the hummingbirds love it.

As for numbers of hummers, we don't keep the feeders by our windows to really watch closely. Those are out in the garden. I've seen 3 at a time when I'm outside. We lost a male hummer earlier in the season. He was really curious and friendly and preened every morning in the willow tree at the corner of the front garden and butterfly garden. The little female ruby-throated in my photo is a regular when I'm in the garden. She'll get up pretty close to me.

Given that we change the feeders every 2-3 days in hot weather and they are not even half empty, I believe the hummers are getting most of their food from the garden. I see them perch on the feeders (basin-type), take a few sips, then go among all the flowers.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 4:21PM
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My salvia black and blue arent blooming that well but the hummers use whats there, they also love my agastache tutti fruitti and a few more that I have.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:27PM
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lovefornature(5B IL)

Glenda: Thanks for letting me know what that little tree is :) Very cute little thing!!!!

I don't have any butterfly bushes yet, but am very interested.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Cameron, I always love your garden pics. Thanks for sharing again. I am curious if you ever see the hummers at your vitex (or if anyone else does for that matter). I know the flowers are loaded with nectar and the bees and butterflies love them, but I haven't seen any hummers at mine yet. I guess they might be intimidated by the bees, which weigh down the branches, there are so many.

LFN: the "butterfly bush" usually meant is buddelia, which can be invasive in some areas. But according to the Illinois Native Plant Society (see link below), you're OK. Hummers do like these, although I don't think they're tops on the list for me. Coral honeysuckle, salvia, and pentas top my hummer's dining menu!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 2:11PM
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Whoops...forgot the link!

Here is a link that might be useful: INPS

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:39PM
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lovefornature(5B IL)

Mbuckmaster: I have never seen that link before, thanks!!

I've got a honeysuckle named John Clayton, which I believe is native. It produces yellow flowers instead of the usual reddish. Just got it this year so it is way to little and not producing flowers yet.

I am having so much trouble figuring out where to place the trellis for the honeysuckle. I wanted to place it in front of my dogeared fence but the trellis is taller than the fence and I feel that everything would look out of balance....ugggg..... This is being placed in my front yard too. Need design help :)

Also have Black and Blue, Lady in Red, Coral Nymph, and Bee Balm (bee balm is too young to bloom too).

Thanks again :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Hi to you all,
I have so enjoyed reading the wonderful posts on this site. This is my first time to post and I have lost my heart to hummers but haven't very much knowledge. This was the first year of observing them and feeding them. You see, I live in Corpus Christ, Texas in an apartment without a yard, of course. I put one feeder out, made my own nectar with 1:4 ratio sugar cane and water. I simmered it for 10 mins. as suggested and thought," oh well, if they come, great and if not, no big deal". Well,come they did!! In April, when they arrived there were as many as 16 trying to a sip, while 4 sat at the feeder! My heart soared and I bought 2 more feeders. Who can believe such a miracle of color, detail and fearlessness in one tiny creature! I went through a time of seeing many everyday and then a sparse amount came for a time and then none. I was brokenhearted until I researched and discovered that when the flowers are in full bloom and/or when nesting, they will appear less frequently. I was disappointed until about 3 weeks ago when they came back to feast at my balcony once more. I have Blackchins and Rubys for sure, and some that have defied identification. They have grown accustomed to seeing me and if you can believe it, the little blackchins will even come up to patio door and peer in at me as I sit at the computer. I have tried photographing them but they "fuss" at me so much that I've given that a rest for now and decided just to enjoy them. Well, anyhow,(sorry this is so long) today I held one of the feeders at dusk and placed my hands on the perches and the most wonderful thing happened. Although they would not land on my hands, they hovered so close to my fingers that their wings touched my fingers and then would circle in back of me and brush the back of my head! I have a tear on my cheek and a lump in throat even now. Oh how I love these babies! Now, I have a question. I will be moving in a month to a new location, near Houston to teach. What will become of these little guys? I am so worried about how they will fare without my feeders. Anyone who help me with this question, please.
Thanks so Much,
Pam in Corpus Christi

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 10:25PM
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scouterbecky(6 Southern IL)

Hi Pam, I'm glad you're having such a great time with the hummers. It's a lot of fun, isn't it?! I was thinking maybe you could see if any of your neighbors are interested in feeding the birds after you move. What do you think about asking around?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Pam--- You have had a wonderfull experience with the hummers and there is no reason why you wont have hummers at your new residense. These hummers will fare ok. The nectar that they get from feeders and flowers is only the fuel they need for the rest of their diet which consists of small insects such as knats, mosquitoes, and small spiders , which mmakes up the protein of their diet which they must have to survive. So be thankfull for your experience with them as they have touched your heart , but worry not as they will fare well.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 10:37AM
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I saw a hummer check out the vitex this morning, but not feed. The vitex is literally covered in honeybees.

I've had only one buddleia seedling show up.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Hmmm...the bees intimidate them, I guess. Vitex is a neat plant nonetheless.

Buddleia certainly has invasive potential, although it seems its status is disputed. The North Carolina Native Plants Society ranks it as a Rank 3 invasive plant in our state, which is the lowest level. It seems to me it's a similar situation to mimosa trees, which people know are invasive and still plant because they like them so much. But I don't think buddleia is in the same league as mimosa.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 8:14PM
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Great idea on how to attract those guys!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:49PM
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My vitex seeds out a lot and is causing me some real concern. I have about 3 seedlings around my tree right now and have pulled several since spring. I moved one seedling to a spot to watch it in full south-facing sun... and although it's only 1 foot high, it has lots of tiny blooms forming.

The only buddleia that has produced one seedling in my garden has been 'Royal Red'. I also have several 'Adonis Blue', 'Honeycomb', 'Pink Delight', 'Dark Knight' and a few others...with no seedlings to date. All of my buddleia, except for 2 of the pink, are in full sun (east, south and west) all day. We mulch in the spring and it may be also that we're smothering any buddleia seedlings. However, the vitex seedlings are coming through.

As a side note (although not hummer food)...We have been shovel pruning Love Grass out of our garden as it is seeding way too much for comfort.

Back to hummer food...that agastache and the salvias are really the best in my garden.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 1:55PM
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