Hummingbird at 3:30 a.m.

corgilvr(z6 PA)July 2, 2006

I couldn't sleep and decided to get up and accomplish something instead of tossing and turning. I let the dogs out and sat on the back step waiting for them to finish inspecting the yard. I saw something that looked like a large moth near my planter full of petunias. As I watched it flit from one blossom to the next, I realized it was a hummingbird! I was amazed that they would be out at this hour.

Do many of you put feeders out, or do you expect blooms to do the job?

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Are you sure it was a hummingbird? There are hummingbird moths that resemble hummingbirds and who will nectar at similar flowers!

I usually see my first in the morning just before sunrise at about 5:15 am. They seem to be active just before dawn and through the day until just after dusk. If there is some other light source overnight, I have seen pictures from people who have seen them feeding late in the evening.

I do both feeders and flowers and they will go to both!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 8:08AM
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corgilvr(z6 PA)

At first, I thought it was some sort of bat even though it was tiny. I had the patio lights on before it arrived. I'm quite sure it was a hummingbird because of the movement and the speed at which it left toward the bushes next door.

I am always so excited to see my first one of the season! Now to wash the feeders and make some nectar. Care to share your recipe?


    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:16AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Debbie - I'll give you a congrats then! :-D

Most of us do a 1:4 ratio to make up the nectar (some will do 1:3 which is okay too). That's basically 1 cup sugar to 4 cups of water. I actually make up about 4 oz for my main feeder which is 1/8 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. I have been changing out the nectar every 2 days since it has been hot lately and I want to avoid mold in the solution. I'm getting about 3 - 4 regulars and they are using up about 1/2 - 3/4 of what's in my little feeder in that timeframe.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 6:55PM
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naturenut_pa(z6 PA)

This is the first year that I haven't put out the feeders. We haven't had a chance to finish staining the decks, and the feeder usually hangs underneath the upper deck. I don't see them that often but can hear them.

Just last week I watched one of them land on a perch on one of the regular feeders. I thought that was unusual, since they don't eat seed (?) Then within about 2 seconds another hummingbird came out of nowhere at about 30 mph, and slammed the other one right off the perch.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 8:48PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

I have 3 butterfly bushes waiting to be planted and noticed a little hummingbird flapping away at one of them.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:22PM
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katybird_PA(z6 PA)

I think it was probably a hummingbird moth. They move in a way that is very similar to a hummingbird. You really have to get a good look to tell them apart, and the hummingbird moth is a lot more likely to be doing its thing at 3:30 AM. They are very cool.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 6:39PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

I believe this is what I saw on my butterfly bush.

Here is a link that might be useful: Snowberry Clearwing Moth

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:38PM
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peaches20(6 PA)

I saw a couple of humming birds last year and this year I bought a hummingbird feeder but no hummers yet. I also have honeysuckle in the backyard growing in a hedge.

Hope to see them soon.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:26PM
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springcherry(6/7 Philly,PA)

I also just saw a hummer and at first thought it was a moth. But I watched for awhile as it fed on some red monarda -- and it was definetely a hummer with a body and long beak. It did not look like the picture of the moth.

The hummers are here, and quite amazing.

There's a bit about it in my gardenblog

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening a Library on the Hill

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:59PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

I planted my 3 butterfly bushes today. The little Snowberry Clearwing Moths were after them while I was planting them. They are cute little things. Please don't tell me they have any bad habits.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 10:52PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

springcherry - they're definitely in our neighborhood 'cause they visit my feeder and plants every 5 - 20 minutes depending on the time of day. LOL I think I have at least 3, if not more. Waiting for the babies to come up, if they haven't already.

This is my little boy who was born last year and returned this year to claim my spot as his late afternoon & evening territory (the females hog it during the day)!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 9:30AM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)

Could you tell me about that device the little fellow is using and where I could get one? I want some h-birds to go with my h-moths.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 1:37PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Bob - that's a Perky Pet hummingbird feeder (the model is often called the 8 oz "4-fountain", although the company calls it the "pinched waist" bottle feeder). Mine also came with plastic "Bee guards", that will fit on the tubes that are in the plastic flowers and will allow a beak to push through but will keep the bees out. I generally don't use them because they are yellow (which itself attracts bees). Although when the wasps start coming and harass the hummers and then lounge on the feeding ports, I'll put them on for a day or so and then take them off, since the wasps usually give up pretty quickly and don't bother coming back for awhile. Plus the hummers sometimes have problems figuring out what the heck the things are, so I don't like keeping them on too long. LOL

I actually bought my feeder at one of the Home Depots here and they are sold at various online places that sell products for feeding/housing wild birds. Alternately, alot of people use the newer saucer feeders (particularly the various ones called "Humzingers"), which are easy to clean, so that is an option too. Also some come with ant moats and others can be fitted for one as an option. I made my own (using a plastic coffee jar lid). When hung above the feeder and filled with water, it can help keep the ants and other crawlers away from the feeder.

I had one online place bookmarked as I think someone who had posted earlier had ordered from them and they had a big selection. The below are links to the different feeders:

Bottle feeders (this place calls mine the 4-fountain)
Saucer feeders (including the Humzinger)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 9:45PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I love hummers. We've got a big bed of red monarda, and every year a ruby-throated hummer feasts and feasts on the nectar. This year we've had a very tiny hummer visiting. It's all green, no red throat. I wonder if it's a female.

The hummer moths are cool, too.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 1:55PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Carol - it could be a female or a juvenile male.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 7:42AM
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corgilvr(z6 PA)

Carol, mine is really tiny and not very colorful. She is really enjoying the hibiscus and petunias. I could sit and watch all day.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 6:42AM
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