How is the heat affecting the hummers?

mboston_gwJuly 21, 2012

I live in Florida and I don't normally see hummers from April till Sept. However, I did see a female or immature bird yesterday and some of my friends have had females and an occasional male this summer.

I got to thinking about what people in the middle part of the country and in the north are posting about birds not using the same flowers as in the past and not

seeing as many birds. I am wondering of the extreme heat is causing the birds to move on to cooler places or if the plants they normally use aren't producing as much nectar due to the drought and heat.

So what are you seeing? More or less than past years?

Please put where you are located as well as your findings.

Thanks

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Eric580

My first year with hummers has been very succesful. Mostly female ruby throats and one male. I water my garden daily so the nectar in my plants should be normal. I am located in western Pennsylvania.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:34PM
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hummersteve

Im seeing the same numbers per usual this time of season and at present the numbers are increasing as expected this time of year. In the evening between 8:30-9:30 10-15 hummers. But a couple of nights ago there were too many to count. I too water daily in these drought conditions as most plants I have will be quite affected if I dont and Im guessing the nectar too. Im in central indy.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:29PM
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vaticanroulette(4-5)

Sorry to be long winded, but this will be my first post.

I figured an already existing thread would be best to start with, I won't attempt to highjack it...

I live in the Western Suburbs of Detroit, and bought a house that my Grandmother owned. For years, she tried to get hummingbirds to her yard, and only saw a few. Last year, I started my garden and went with a hummingbird theme and had minimal success. Mainly(in my opinion) is because I don't know what I'm doing.

I bought a feeder from a local hardware store(Aco, love that place) and my neighbor told me to boil down 1 cup of sugar per 4 parts water to fill it. I saw one. I was hooked, cause I've never seen one in person.

I did a little research(the amateur kind) and purchased about a 50 count of Cardnial Climber vines. They produced wonderfull flowers, but I saw no Hummingbirds.

So, the questions...

Anyone living in that area that has some good recommendations on what kind of foliage to pursue?

What time of the day do they generally feed?

Do they prefer shade, full sun, other?(hummingbirds)

Any tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated, and from what I've searched on this site, everyone seems to be very helpful and polite.

So take it easy on me. :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:39PM
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ctnchpr

First of all, welcome to the Hummingbird Forum, vaticanroulette, and please ask all the questions you want, we like questions!!

One quick tip - you don't have to boil your water. I warm mine in the microwave for a minute or two, just to get the sugar to dissolve faster. Put your feeder in the shade. They feed on average about every 10-15 minutes, you'll see more activity very early and very late in the day.

There is a thread a short way down the page titled "What is the very best hummer attrtacting plants in your garden?", or something like that. You'll find loads of suggestions for hummer plants in it. "Lady in Red" and "Black & Blue" salvias are mentioned a lot, they're both great hummer plants. "LIR" is an annual that reseeds like a weed, plant it once and have hummer plants every year thereafter. "B&B" is a perennial here in Western Tennessee, but it may be an annual for you in MI.

I'm having a normal hummer Summer - my crew has consumed 75 lbs of sugar already, and will probably use another 75 lbs before they migrate. That would be in the normal 150-175 lbs range.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:25AM
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Eric580

Here arne some tips vaticanroulette.
1 You don't have to boil the water. (I just mix the sugar with the water until it dissolves)
2 Get a variety of plants that attract hummers because no hummingbird wants to drink nectar from the same type of plant everyday
3 Hummingbirds like shade and sun so make sure both are in your garden.

Hope this helps vaticanroulette

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:05AM
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northcountry47

Even with daily watering, my flowers are in sad shape. However, supplementing with more nectar feeders has kept the hummers around. They have actually been fighting each other for spots on the feeder, so hopefully they don't miss the flowers too much.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:26PM
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mboston_gw

I have heard from a friend in Mass. that his numbers have been down this year but are now picking up so he thinks the fall migration has started already. Esp. since he is now seeing more adult males than before and they usually migrate a couple weeks before the females. Even some people in northern FL are reporting more males.

I haven't seen any more of my one that showed up last week.
Guess she couldn't deal with the 30 or so butterflies using the same plants. She was probably thinking, these are strange looking hummingbirds!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:14PM
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finchelover(5b-6)

well,I am having my usual 2=3 hummers. I wish I could attract more I have plant and feeder for them but always have only these few
any ideas about attracting more

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 7:39PM
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finchelover(5b-6)

well,I am having my usual 2=3 hummers. I wish I could attract more I have plant and feeder for them but always have only these few
any ideas about attracting more

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Eric580

Finchelover, to attract more hummingbird you need to create a whole habitat. You could buy a birdbath with a fountain, purchase hummingbird houses, provide nesting material in a suet style cage, provide perching areas (tomatoe stake, stick, fence,etc), and add more plants. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:56PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Vaticanroulette. Agastache attract humers. They grow into largish plants fairly quickly, but are perennials, so not much trouble.

My suggestion would be to put some plants where they are easily seen from your windows. Last year I had red honeysuckles and some agastache near the garage and never saw a one. (I'm not by there that often)

This year I decided to plant some right outside my office window, and sure enough I've had one for the last several weeks and hoping for more next year.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:35PM
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