Am I Enabling?

glorybee(6b)September 26, 2007

I was thinking today and I am trying to plan ahead for new gardens next spring.Normally with the hummers I have a feeder on the front porch and 1 on the back porch.I have morning glories hollyhocks petunias and geraniums usually every year.I have seen the hummers check out the morning glorys and hollyhocks but mostly perched on the geraniums and petunias.I see them feed more on the sugar watered feeders though.Do you think feeders are the bird equivalent to fast food?Do you think if I go through a major effort to give them gorgous flowers next year that they would still prefer the feeders? What is best for them?I will be honest here too with the feeders! They have begun to leak.They are a couple years old now.It gets on the deck rail then ants and wasps come in masses! I feel so bad for the hummers trying to dodge the wasps! I have tried oiling the feeders but have had no luck.My mom saved me an article about a man who invented a feeder that I may try next year.It apparently is a better design.He apparently designed some medical equipment also.Has anyone tried it.(I included the link below).Its a bit late in the season for me to buy one now though.One plus of my leaky feeders though are butterflies! THey love it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird Feeder

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I think the main attraction of feeder vs. flower is that a blossom produces a finite amount of nectar daily while a feeder 'produces' a constant supply. So visiting a feeder is usually less work with a bigger payout.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 2:19PM
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Actually none of feeders leak, except when it gets really hot then I think any of them will leak. As far as wasps go Ive been fighting them all summer too , thats where having more options helps the hummers out, either more feeders or more flowers that they will use or both. I dont have a lot of different flowers right now : guaranitica black and blue which is number one here[10] lady in red or any coccinia, subrotunda, cuphea david verity and all of these are used, plus the 10 feeders. There are many more good hummer plants , look it up for anyone interested. Now is the time to plan for next year.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 5:04PM
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nanny56(IN 5b)

My regulars that were here all summmer seemed to prefer the feeders versus the plants. They are long gone now, but the migrators are at the feeders alot but also the plants.

I have a hummzinger it is a little expensive and to feed they have to hover, though it does have a perch.

The one I like best is from First Nature. It does not leak, they can perch while eating, easy to clean & comes in 2 sizes 16 & 32 oz. I have one of each and you can find them at Walmart for under $5! Do not use their nectar though, ugh! Here is pic.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 6:56PM
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I'm with lv6b in that flowers can "run out" of nectar and have to make more. Which is part of the reason hummers fight over feeders - they don't undertsand that the "big flowers" usually have enough for everyone.
That said - plant your beautiful flowers too. Hummers need the protein from the bugs they'll find to eat in them and it's a source of nectar in case your solution goes sour or runs out.
As to feeders leaking in hot weather - what happens is liquids and gases expand when heated. The air in the empty top of the feeder heats up, expands and has no where to go so it pushes nectar out of the feeder hence the "leaking". You can eliminate this by using a feeder that has a reservoir on the bottom instead. I like them because you can fill them half full so the hummers can reach the nectar and the wasps can't. So the bottom reservoir feeders solve multiple problems. The hummzinger is my favorite - it's a breeze to clean too.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 1:25PM
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