When do you put your humming bird feeder away?

jspeachyn5September 2, 2009

I put mine away in July b/c I didn't have any hummers. Just ants an had kept refilling it even though none was gone. So it would be clean.

Well now I keep seeing a hummer flying around my windows.

So should I put the feeder out so they can have something to eat on their long journey south. Or should I just hope they get something to eat someplace along the way?

I don't really have anything out there blooming that I would consider humming bird food. Since my flowers are winding down.

Thanks' Bonnie

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We are still having a few so have left up just one feeder.
You might just mix up a half batch and put it up. I still have lots of flowers that they feed at, red salvias and I saw one on the cleome yesterday, blue salvias and lots of petunias. I don't know if I have ever seen them at the petunias come to think of it.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:55AM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

the hummers have been hitting mine hard. Didn't see them shortly after they arrived....I guess they were off doing other things....but they have been back and fighting for each feeder. Not looking forward to the day they head south for the winter. I'll miss them.

Lake of the Ozarks

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:39PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

First to come in the Spring is the scout--then usually in a day or two, the rest follow. They return each year to where they were hatched. (wish my memory was that good!)
Then, in the middle of summer, you won't see many, because babies are requiring taken care of--that means lots of bugs.
Then, babies and adults hit the feeders, hard for a few weeks.
Then in August, the adults leave for the Gulf. Babies stay on untill about the first of October, then leave.
Conservation Comm. reccommends you leave the feeders up way past your last one leaving, so stragglers coming thru can have a quick bite.
This is what I have learned by reading and observation.
This year, numbers were way down, we've lost a lot of the beautiful birds. Usually I have 2 to 4 hundred, this year, maybe 50-75. I usually have 8 or 9 feeders up, using about 300# of sugar, maybe little less.
This year? 3 feeders, and about 75# of sugar.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 7:29AM
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ceresone, that sounds like a lot of work. But I'm sure you enjoy the birds as a reward.
The only flowers I think I have the hummers would like are the salvia an a few others. Most got knocked down by the last hard storm we had a week or so ago.
I went ahead a filled the feeder an put it back up. So maybe I will get to see at least one this year eat from there. : )
Thanks for all the help everyone.
My hawks have migrated on already. so I know winter will be coming. Burrrr.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I'm still seeing hummingbirds here too but haven't had my feeders up since spring. I've planted quite a few flowers for them to keep them fed, salvias, red honeysuckle etc. I'm sure they would still go to the feeders as well but in the summer, the sugar water spoils quickly and I get tired of cleaning and refilling them. Ceresone - I don't know how you keep up. I had no idea you had so many there. Wow! I wonder what caused their numbers to go down.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 7:43AM
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ceresone, I would call you a serious HB fan! Not sure I could manage all that cleaning.
Thanks for the interesting facts about them> I didn't realize that we are seeing the babies now. Evidently not many hatched here since we are just seeing a couple now.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:57AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Well, I'm thinking maybe there was a hurricane or storms in the Gulf that made us lose so many Humming Birds over the winter-- and hoping it wasn't because, last year, I just got tired of taking care of them!!!
I even got rid of my aquarium too, because everywhere I turned something was wanting fed! I would walk in the L.R, every fish would rush to the corner to see me and open their mouth--walk to the window--there were the birds, same way-- horses-chickens-cat--HUSBAND-LOL

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 8:18AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I haven't had my feeders up all summer. I didn't have very many birds and thought I had enough flowers for them. I may put one up since you say they are babies. I had many birds one year and couldn't keep up with the sugar water; my counter was sticky often. Then we had some bad weather and I haven't seen that many since. I have a neighbor who feeds them and I see many dive bombing each other at her feeders. Maybe that is where they moved.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 6:28PM
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I attend the hummingbird class held September 9th at the Springfield Nature Center. Master hummingbird bander Sarah Driver was trained by a Master Bander and is licensed by the federal government to band and research hummingbirds. She's been doing it for over 20 years now.

She said you can, and should, keep your feeders up all the way until Thanksgiving. If you don't want to keep them up that long, then take it down two weeks after you have no longer seen them feeding. Keeping them up will often attract late stragglers and other varieties of hummingbirds.

You can put out your feeders in the spring on April 1st.

You should clean the feeder every three days in the summer and every five days in the cooler temps. Do not use the red liquid they sell in stores. It's not healthy for the birds and attracts far fewer hummers. Use a mixture of 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup of sugar. Boil the water, turn it off, add the sugar, and stir. Allow to cool. If you ever find a hummingbird that appears dead, it might not be, it might be in a survival state and be in desparate need of food. Contact Sarah Driver if you ever find a hummingbird in distress, see an unusual species, or have questions...

Here is a link that might be useful: Sarah Driver - Hummingbird Bander

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:32PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

The information I had also said, by keeping your feeders up late, you might possibly see another type of hummer, as they pass through here on their way south.
I've never been lucky enough, even though I usually keep mine up till freezing weather.
Off the subject of hummers tho, when I was a child, we used to have a small red bird in our area, about the size of a finch, no topknot, and it must be extinct now.
Any older members remember it?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 8:45AM
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I regularly have purplr finches at my feeder in the winter and once this summer I saw a summer tanager at the birdbath. These are both finch size.

I refilled my humming feeder and put it back up yesterday as the hummers are still visiting it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:56AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

I ve those too, but the one we remember was the red of a cardinal.
Strange, so many things from childhood are gone--and we never noticed the passing--and not just time.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 2:19PM
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I don't think I have ever seen the tanager here or ever.

We had at least one hummer yesterday but I haven't seen any today.

We will keep ours up for a while longer.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 3:23PM
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kaye(7a AR)

We still have 2 here for the past several days. The bulk of the hummers left a few weeks ago but we have been seeing the migrators..I can tell because all the males had left and then more arrived from the north. We've had hummers show up here as late as November. I stored all but one feeder today. I'll miss the little beggars..but not the work of keeping all the feeders clean and filled.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 7:12PM
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We didn't see any for the last two days...just had filled the feeder so we will leave it up for passing birds or stragglers.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 6:15AM
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I saw one again late yesterday afternoon. It was on the flowers not the feeder.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 5:39AM
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I saw one yesterday too. It surprised me. I don't think I've seen them in October before. I don't have any feeders filled but I have lots of salvia blooming.

I have only seen one tanager in my life several years ago when we were in Branson. I think it was a Summer Tanager. I thought it seemed as red as a cardinal but slightly smaller and no crest. There are also Scarlet Tanagers that are bright red with black wings. Could it have been one of those Ceresone?

Here is a link that might be useful: Summer Tanager

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 7:46AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

No, Christie, these were small solid red birds, no crest, and I would doubt my memory, but I've spoken to several others my age that remember them.
I've never been able to find them in the newer bird books, but Sis has a old one from the 1800's that she insists has the bird--I haven't checked yet.
Still cold Hummers this morning--most years they leave Oct 4th.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 8:41AM
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