How are the hummers in your area?

lightGreenThumb(9 LA)July 3, 2004

I'm new to hummingbirds and have been frequenting their forums here on gardenweb, but I'm wondering how busy they are in LA.

I've had my feeder out only a week or so now. Did I put it out too late in the season or should i catch some migrators later on?

How busy are your feeders?

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janet_la(z8b Louisiana)

I don't have a feeder, but I've had a hummer flitting around off and on all day, especially around my confetti lantana.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 9:14PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I think the experts say they leave for nesting near water (no shortage of that this year!) but like a river, and should be back soon. It really helps in my experience to plant things they like, like salvias, lantana as the last post said, native honeysuckle, abutilons--the ones some people call flowering maple. Anything with a tubular flower I think. I usually see hummers in my abutilons most, but I also have firespike (Odontonema stricta) which blooms later in the summer and they seem to appreciate, quite a few different perennial salvias--lots of others I can't think of at the moment. You don't have to confine yourself to red flowers either; I think the hummers like the blue and yellow salvias I have at least as much. I don't have any right now, but flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sp. and hybrids) are excellent for hummers. Then the feeders bring them up close where you can see them more. They like Pentas too I'm told.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 11:43PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

They've been around. They love the firecracker plant and the salvias, the blue salvias the best.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 4:38AM
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lightGreenThumb(9 LA)

I've just started planting for hummers and butterflies this year. The only plants I have blooming for the hummers right now are clethra, fuschia, yellow hibiscus and a small firecracker plant. I have a huge azalea bush near one of the feeders, but it's not in bloom right now. I've recently planted some cannas that I think they'll like.

Most of my other plants attract butterflies, but I'm not sure if they attract hummers (buddleia, clerodendrums, passiflora, speedwell veronica).

I am planning to get some coral honeysuckle, a fountain plant, lantana, and thanks to your reccomendation some blue salvia. I'll have to check out the abutilons.

Thanks :)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 8:34AM
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danbo(8b MS Coast)

They are territorial. And it's fun to watch them fight over and chase each other around the garden. The dominate hummer will usually perch on a branch and watch over the garden or feeder if he declares it as his spot.

Our dominate hummer perches in a tree near the patio. I was sitting out there enjoying the garden and listening to some steel drum music when I noticed the little guy swaying to the music.

They are a special treat in any garden.

In addition to many good suggestions. I find they love cigar plant, cypress vine, firecracker bush, shrimp plant, and fire spike.

As an added thought. A lot of folks point out they migrate to central or south america in fall. And suggest you pull down the feeder to encourage their migration. However, I'll see the little treats all year. And sometimes hang a feeder if a frost does a lot of damage to the flowers, and insects population. Likewise bird seed for the other birds.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 9:38AM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

Oh, I sure agree about keeping the feeders up year-round. They say we get west-coast hummers in the winter. I can't see well enough to distinguish the difference since I broke my binoculars, but I know I have some kinda hummers all year. When it's cold enough to freeze the syrup in the feeder, be sure to get out there at the crack of dawn to bring them some that's not frozen--they can die in a very short time without food coming in. One winter they were flocking to the Mahonia bealei (I think it blooms about January or so, and smells WONdeful.) Don't think they usually nectar in it, but I think the salvias and shrimp plant and abutilons that usually bloom all year were frosted that year. They take me back to my childhood, before clothes dryers, and they'd sit on the clothesline and dive-bomb my mother. First time I became aware that not everything you read in books is true. Our grade-school science text said hummers never land, they even incubate their eggs on the wing. Apparently they never watched hummingbirds!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 5:11PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

On July 23-24 the Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration is being held. Think it is in St. Francisville.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 12:29AM
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I have hummers off and on all year too. They love any red trumpet shaped flowers (salvia, firespike, coral honeysuckle) and when the bottle brush is in bloom I can always find one (or two fighting)hummers around it.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 1:18PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

I have three feeders and there is always 2-3 around them fighting it out. lol We fill them up every week. so it's pretty busy around here.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 7:07PM
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lightGreenThumb(9 LA)

You guys are lucky! I still haven't seen the first hummer yet. Thanks for all the plant recomendations. :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 9:43PM
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danbo(8b MS Coast)

Where about do you live? When we lived in the New Orleans 9th ward we had far fewer. Though we did have the hummer who made his rounds of the Morning Glories every day. But no where like we have here on the coast.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 7:12AM
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lightGreenThumb(9 LA)

I live in Sulphur, just west of Lake Charles. I live in the city, but there are quite a few trees around our home.

A little off topic, but.. I have a thistle feeder as well and haven't seen any goldfinches or pine siskins, either.

I do have some cardinals and, unfortunately, house sparrows and blue jays.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 7:47AM
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HANG IN THERE.Sometimes it takes a little time for them to find feeders.Hang them around flowers they seem to like red they love my red cannas. have lots of fun JIM

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 5:05PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

I know the Blue Jays aren't the most popular birds, mostly I'm sure because they tend to chase off the smaller birds, but I've been much more tolerant about them since I read that a popular item on their menus is those big 'ol cockroaches that love to hang out in the trees and mulch piles. Yum, cockroaches! Yay, Blue Jays!!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 12:20AM
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lightGreenThumb(9 LA)

I'm so glad you told me that about blue jays! The bug you speak of.. yuck! I can't even type it out, but I'm SO glad I've attracted a natural predator of theirs!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 7:54AM
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hoppes_girl(z8 LA.)

I saw a lil female ruby throat on my zinnias yesterday,They are hanging around.They aren't gone yet!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 8:38PM
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soundgarden(z8/ New Orleans, La)

I've got a cute little black one around my house. I'm really lazy about cleaning my feeder so who knows if I'll get many more.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:57PM
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tamivileine(z8b OS,MS, US)

Well, they're ugly and use way too much gas.

(very small joke)

I also have one black hummingbird hanging about my feeder. There were more birds earlier in the year, but I suppose they traveled on. I did see one possibly ruby-throat one day a bit back, but the black one chased the green one off. I imagine we'll begin to see more hummingbirds as the fall approaches and they begin to make their migration

sea ya
You can bring a horticulture,
but you can't make her think.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 5:55PM
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Nell Jean

Keep the feeders filled with clean, fresh sugar water. Two cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, bring to a boil and let cool. Keep the feeders clean. No soap, just soak in water with a little bleach added if mold starts to form and rinse well. Rinse with vinegar between bleach cleanings.
The sugar water should be changed every 2-3 days. When you change the water, sniff it. Spoiled nectar smells bad and is cloudy. It's bad for their little livers, as it ferments.

More plants they like:
Salvia coccinea
Shrimp plant
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)
Rose of Sharon

It's a busy time right now. They're territorial, so you may attract one or two youngsters who don't have a territory yet. If you catch a few migrators and you well may, they will probably seek you out next spring when they return.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 10:46AM
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I live in the Shreveport area and have two feeders on my frony porch. I started out with one or two birds, now after a year there is at least 8!
I know some are offspring from the original first and they are always chasing each other around, company loves to watch them. We have all green and rubythroated humming birds. Even when we are on the porch they pay us no mind if we are standing still. They are really an enjoyment.

I use 1 cup of sugar and just a little of the store brand mix(to give it color)and use enough hot water to melt the sugar, then pour it in your feeder and fill up with cold water. I usually change it out every week if possible.

Good luck and don`t give up it took a couple of weeks before I saw my first bird!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2004 at 10:57AM
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Bootsntux(z8b La)

I have several hummer feeders around the house but I have 2 that really draw the hummers. This afternoon I tried to count the ones that were on just the 2 front feeders and I think I counted 20 - 25 swarming them. It is so hard to count them but I believe that is a good estimate. From what I have been told you should have hummers coming and going almost all year. Lots of them are headed to Mexico either by way of the Gulf of Mexico or by Texas so here in La we gets lots of migraters during the fall so don't take down your feeders. If they want to go south to Mexico they will.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 1:30AM
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