hummers suddenly disappeared

graybirdSeptember 1, 2008

I've only been feeding hummers for about 3 weeks, but have seen 5 or 6 at one time at my feeders. I keep the solution changed and feeder clean.For the last couple of days, I have not seen any hummers. Have had a few bees around but not a large number. I have noticed that very large ants crawl thru the ports and drown since I can see them floating in solution. Does anyone have any answers to why they would suddenly leave?

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Ants can be a problem for sure and from what I understand, they will cause the nectar to become either bitter or rancid very quickly...the hummers will take one sip and not come back to that feeder!

You can purchase ant guards which is a cup fitted on top of the feeder and filled with water...also, there are some feeders with built in moats. In a pinch, I've coated the hanger and top of the feeder with some vasoline and that seems to work too.

It could be that your hummers have moved on, but taking care of the ant problem, might attract a few more for you to enjoy! Good luck...


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:19AM
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This is an iffy question since migration is in heavy mode at present time. The combo of bees and ants could cause them to move on since they are on the move south anyway. I personaly dont have an ant problem at my residence, but I also do work at another residence that does have an ant problem , big black ones that do get in and float in the feeder, but does not detour the hummers as they have drained it. As far as the vaseline goes, I tried it , smeared it all over the shepards hook and those big ants laugh at it as they crawl over it to get to the feeder. My suggestion is move the feeder to another location or get one with a builtin ant moat such as this one. Cost $3-$5. Walmart has the wooden window extender with suction cups.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:58AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Over the past 15+ years, I have noticed that hummers come in waves. A bunch will come through and feed for a few days, and then they will take off. And I have found that whenever we wake up to a wind coming out of the north, that the hummers will feed heavily and then take off. I won't see any for a couple of days and then a new wave of them will come through. Here in Rockport, Texas, the height of our hummer migration is generally from mid- to late-September with a few stragglers coming through during October. During the height of the migration, we get thousands of hummers. During the month of September, I generally used 50 to 60 pounds of sugar for the little birds with two to three dozen feeders of various sizes in my yard. And I have a large yard planted with hummer plants. So keep an eye out for fronts, and I believe that you will see that they hummers will take advantage of the fronts heading to the south.

And I agree with Steve about hummers not being run off by the ants. However, I try to avoid feeders up or near my windows because so often, I have seen the hummers fly into the windows because of the reflection of the sky, water, etc. I have nursed several hummers back to life after colliding into the window. And I have found many dead ones after collisions with the windows. Not only do the hummers fly into windows, but I've had lots of other birds to the same including an Inca dove that I nursed back to health. Do try to avoid hanging feeders in front of or on windows. Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Those big ants are probably carpenter ants. If you have them close to the house you might have a problem with them actually being in the house. You should have it checked out, they can do quite a bit of damage.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 10:00PM
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