Although hummingbirds may have shown up a few weeks earlier this year… their trip home to Central and South America will likely be on target for early fall. If the tiny sprites are present and guzzling your nectar, just wait about another month when numbers may double, or even triple!
The long journey back requires lots of energy, and nectar from feeders is an excellent source to keep hummingbirds engine’s fueled! Even when your resident birds may have already split… groups from further north and some stragglers will stop for refuge.
Last year, we were absolutely inundated with hummingbirds during the fall migration, even our cats (from inside the screened porch) went bonkers seeing and hearing all the buzzing activity! More feeders were needed fast to accommodate the passers-by, and these little glass ones fit the bill well. The Mini-Kins are Bird Brain hummingbird feeders, and sold in sets of three. Hand blown glass in vibrant colors, they’re easy to fill & clean, and two feeding ports are better than one!
Be ready to offer migrating hummingbirds fuel for their long journey home. Keep nectar fresh and hang an extra feeder or two in the next few weeks. Keep leaf misters on during the day (their favorite), and if you have birdbaths with fountains, be sure the water is clean for them as well.
Pigeons? That’s what the dictionary says, but you can bet these dream homes are more than just shelters, and not for pigeons! Chickadees, Titmice, Wrens, Nuthatches and other small cavity-nesting songbirds would be mighty pleased to call any one of the eight compartments their home. Imagine nesting and raising your young in digs like this!
And as for the human host, this fine dovecote birdhouse will grace the landscape with classic and simple elegance for many years to come. Meticulous construction ensures it!
A friend once mentioned these are “sparrow slums” as non-native House Sparrows will nest anywhere. Many folks despise them, especially Bluebird or Martin landlords, because House (or English) Sparrows destroy and decimate our native Bluebirds and Purple Martins. Mostly through competition for nest sites and territory, their behavior is brutally mean to adults, eggs, nestlings, and fledgelings. English House Sparrows? That’s probably where the “pigeons” come from too?
It’s easy to recognize a Sparrow’s nest if you’d prefer them to stay away from your dovecote birdhouses. Trash and a tunnel – yes a tunneled nest filled with a variety of grasses, straw, paper, string, and whatever else they can scavenge best describes their structure. Simply remove the nest to keep them from breeding, and repeat if they return to try again.
On the flip side, some folks have even inquired on how to keep all birds out of their new house? The structures are so pretty they don’t want birds in them at all! Bummer 🙁 Because of the vinyl construction, these houses stay looking brand new for years… and years! Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth, they’ll never need painting, and are guaranteed not to warp, split, crack, or fade – ever!
Well of course I was sans the camera when a Titmouse landed on the bracket where the hummingbird feeder hangs. Above that is a moat to keep the pesky ants at bay and out of nectar. The bird hopped down and perched on the moat, drinking, drinking and drinking again. After this incident I kept a closer watch, and noticed other small songbirds had the same idea.
It seemed strange to me because there are nine birdbaths, two misters, and one fountain around the place! Yes, it’s a job in itself taking care of everything in the yard, but when you’re a backyard bird fanatic… these things happen!
Luckily the afternoon storms have started in the Southeast, bringing rain, wonderful rain! “Crunchiness” is turning green, and plants are looking much healthier. I wish for all drought-stricken areas the rains would come. Even on Facebook, I’ve seen rain dances and rain prayers throughout the daily feeds.
Now usually when it’s hotter than Hades out there, a few drops of salad oil are added to the water inside the ant moat. This addition to the moat water helps to slow evaporation. But after discovering birds drinking from the smallest birdbath in the world… we had to nix the oil.
Be kind to birds and wildlife if your area is parched. Simply placing a shallow bowl or pan of water on the ground will make an excellent refuge for many crawly, winged, or other wild being!