Because hummingbirds are so territorial, they seem to spend more time fussing over (defending) their claimed feeders than actually eating. This time of year can be a trip if you really observe the tiny sprites. Adding an extra feeder is most helpful, if you can add two… even better. Consider a window hummingbird feeder, or at least placing one of them within view from inside your home. It’s an ideal way to catch small glimpses of action here and there while going about your daily routine. If we could sit on the deck all day and just watch… many of us would, the sprites are that mesmerizing.
Migration is a frenzied time around feeders. In the Eastern part of the country, male Ruby Throats begin their journey first. So aggressive around feeders, it seems their lives depend on that nectar. Females and juveniles follow, but you’ll never see them in groups or flocks because they fly solo. Even first-timers follow the instinct Mother Nature gave them to fuel up and find better digs for winter. Some land in Mexico for the season, while others journey further to Central and South America.
Nectar solutions can be a little stronger now as some recommend changing the ratio from the standard 1:4 to 1:3. One cup table sugar to three cups of water. The extra calories serve hummingbirds well in their quest to fatten up.
It’s also the optimal time for a swing! Say what? A hummingbird swing… really! Have you ever seen them? They’re hanging perches for the birds to rest while guarding their feeder. When we first installed ours, it seemed so-so, not a whole lot of action. But once the big migration was under way… omg, what a hoot! It’s the original, it’s Pop’s Hummingbird Swing and here’s the real story – enjoy!
Sometimes it’s the tiniest things that can bear the biggest impact. Hummingbirds for example, are the smallest of beaked migratory visitors, but their performances are anything but small in stature! Putting on some of the greatest shows with their expert acrobatics and natural antics, it’s no wonder these tiny sprites continue to mesmerize and endear so many people.
Not too terribly shy either, once they become regulars at backyard fountains or feeders, and familiar with their hosts… they’ll buzz by so close you can feel the breeze from their speedy wings! It happened just today… while changing nectar in the window hummingbird feeder – her swift movement caused a swooshing breeze and a bass-like buzz that went right by my head… it made for a pretty magical experience!
Oh, and the tiny tube feeder on the window? It’s actually part of set that lets you train hummingbirds to eat from your hand (well almost). The idea is once they get used to the tubes, you sit quietly holding the feeder by the copper wand and the sprites come right up and eat – within twelve or so inches from you. One feeder is staked to set in a flower pot or plant, the other a window feeder. It’s actually pretty cool, but does require a little bit of patience. Training time may vary depending on how well your hummingbirds know you. A tiny little feeder set for some tiny birds that promise to bring some big amazement to your world!
The very first hummingbird was spotted today, bringing sheer delight in knowing they’re back. For the next six to seven months, sights and sounds around the yard will be a-brimming with silly antics and buzzing activity from these favorite migratory birds. Their very own Pop’s Hummingbird Swing was installed last season and it proved to be a huge hit, so we’ll likely add another this year.
Although feeders are out, there aren’t any flowers yet from which to draw nectar, and that part’s kinda sad. Nothing’s been done in the yard as far as clean-up and planting colorful annuals for the season.
Perennials have not started blooming except for the very early – and long gone crocus and jonquils. Some white candy tuft clumps perch upright in a barren looking landscape, while trees are just sprouting tender green foliage. Leaf misters (that never made it to storage last year) sit ready to spray, and the popular Hummer Helper nesting material is also ready for action!
Because this one hangs from a sturdy window bracket, it serves as our window hummingbird feeder, and eyes are peeled when in the kitchen.
So nice having a feeder right at the window again… and one that squirrels won’t bother with!