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A Photo Journal Of Hummingbird Feeding

Updated on June 15, 2009

The Joy Of A Hummingbird Feeder

The giant red strawberry stands out like a sore thumb as it hangs in mid air just outside the dining room picture window. It actually is not attractive to see it there....at least not until it does it's job. Then the ugly plastic berry takes on new meaning and curiosity swarms around that berry for all it is worth. It does not go unnoticed. Everybody who sits down at the dining room table makes a remark the first time they see that big old berry.

"Do you have Hummingbirds?" is the regular comment said with excitement. "I want to see one", usually follows. I always tell them what is up with the Hummingbird feeder and what to expect. I have been watching that berry for three years now. I can more or less guess what will happen with it at any given time.

Most of my guests opt to sit and wait with anticipation. That is something I know a bit about too. I have waited and waited and tried my best to capture one of the marvelous little birds in action. The first year was mostly in vain. I was not adapted to the workings of my new camera back then.

Last year I got a few shots but was not aware of the habits of the bird in this part of the country. Hummingbirds are much more common out west and south than they are this far north. It makes my stalking for photos even more of a challenge. The third time a charm so they say. This being my third season for waiting and watching that big old berry has me learning and knowing much more than previously. Now I can almost predict what will happen with my big red strawberry shaped Hummingbird feeder.

Thought I would share some of the joys I find each day with this bright red attraction.

It is difficult to catch the busy  Hummingbirds by camera
It is difficult to catch the busy Hummingbirds by camera
Hummingbirds are very mindful in there surroundings and seem to recognize you watching them as quick as you realize they are present. They are not hurried to land until they check it out very carefully, hovering is always called for before landing to
Hummingbirds are very mindful in there surroundings and seem to recognize you watching them as quick as you realize they are present. They are not hurried to land until they check it out very carefully, hovering is always called for before landing to
when they do land the hummingbird is almost always sure to glance around real fast to make sure the coast is clear
when they do land the hummingbird is almost always sure to glance around real fast to make sure the coast is clear
Hummingbirds seem to drink in little gulps when leery of their surroundings
Hummingbirds seem to drink in little gulps when leery of their surroundings
The Hummingbird stops to look around between tiny gulps of the sweet nectar
The Hummingbird stops to look around between tiny gulps of the sweet nectar
When the tiny hummingbird feels safe enough he buries his head deep in the feeder's flower
When the tiny hummingbird feels safe enough he buries his head deep in the feeder's flower
This hummingbird flew in from the rain to grab a bite to eat
This hummingbird flew in from the rain to grab a bite to eat
The rain in the morning did not keep the hummingbird from filling his tiny belly
The rain in the morning did not keep the hummingbird from filling his tiny belly

Keeping The Feeder Clean And Stocked

It is important to keep the Big Red Strawberry Feeder fresh. I take it down every few days and wash it real good with very hot water and dish soap. I make sure to rinse the feeder for several minutes to remove any soap residue that might make the Hummingbirds ill. Then I refill the feeder but only 1/3 of the way full because otherwise the nectar would spoil. I lived in Texas and there we had to fill the feeders on a daily basis because we had more visitors to the feeder. This is not the case here in Indiana.

I make the nectar from boiling water and sugar. I tried buying nectar but the local birds would not eat two different brands that were store purchased. It was a waste of my money and I missed out on the Hummingbirds both years I purchased what was advertised as "healthy" Hummingbird nectar. it said it had vitamins so I thought it would be better for the birds. Honest truth is the hummingbirds like the sugar water mixture just fine.

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    • blessed365 profile image

      Vicky C. 

      6 years ago from New England

      They are a joy to watch.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have quite a few hummingbirds in our backyard. They seem to be attracted by some of our flowers. Always a delight to see. You did a great job catching them on film. Good popperatzi work!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Deltachord I am happy I can share them,Thanks.

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 

      9 years ago from United States

      Lovely pictures.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I've never seen a hummingbird perching! What a cool picture! I gave my sister a hummingbird feeder for her birthday and she kept calling up to report hummingbird visits. They came so often, she was worried they'd get fat!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Thanks for sharing the info CC. I am curious over the birds. They seem to know when I am watching. My two large dogs are probably a hindrance to me getting too close. I am sure they are aware of the dogs as well. I would love to see the albino photo, bet that is really something.

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      9 years ago

      Hi C. S. CC Riter here. As an avid birder I can really appreciate this one. They are indeed hard to capture with camera. You did good by going with home made nectar as the store bought is not good for them. And boiling it tends to make it last longer too. Never use red dye or honey or vitamins in the nectar. Bad stuff for them. I have some pictures of an albino hummer. I had a hummer that returned year after year and would fly to my window upon his arrival evry spring and let me know that he' returned. I kept a journals and always knew when to expect him. He would even come into my house and buzz around in front of my face as though he was thanking me for his food. They can become quite attached to you if you are around them and they will waait on you to refill their feeders patiantly. Nice work here.

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Betsylckes, I have been trying to capture them with the camera for a long time. They are shy. I have become a Hummingbird Popperatzi.

      Hey robi2 nice for you to visit, Thanks.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      lovely,just lovely:-)

    • BetsyIckes profile image

      BetsyIckes 

      9 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I just love Hummingbirds. I have some in my front yard, but I was never fast enough to get any pictures! Lovely hub!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Freda, What makes you think they are girls?

      G-Ma.....You know my good friend in Texas was that way with her Hummingbirds. They would come right up to her and she had quite a few. Boy what an experience to hold or touch one ....very cool. Lucky you and Thanks for visiting and sharing.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I actually held one....and they are so soft and sweet.  it got stuck in my daughter's van and i went in and saved it.  I believe it came back for several years and always let me talk to it and just sat there on the feeder...I also did childcare for this family who's 2 children would stand a box under the feeder and put their little hands straight up and the birds would actually land on them...Love these little sweet creatures and great pics my dear Thanks...:O) Hugs

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      So they're girls I think? How precious. I love how their claws grab onto the white handle of the birdfeeder. I just want to pet them. Fantastic job of capturing them so still. =D

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      The Modern Day Feline,

      don't go hunt your own, like my dogs you would rather eat people food....and I can not say I blame you.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Oooops, what did I set off? :P Don't worry, I have no intention of feeding on humming or any other birds...lasagne does just fine for me! :)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I have saved a few birds that way by chasing my cats away, but unfortunately sometimes I was too late :(.

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Sweetie...last spring I watched in horror as a large stray cat captured a rabbit in my back yard but, I did manage to help the rabbit by chasing the cat until the rabbit squirmed free and ran to safety.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I love cats and immediately become protective of them when someone mentions something bad. You are right we do eat chicken, which is the same thing, but I just blanched when I saw them kill a little blue jay once. Mostly I did not like it because I was the one that had to clean it up, etc.

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      thanks nutuba!

    • nutuba profile image

      nutuba 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful pictures and excellent writing! This was a delightful and enjoyable hub to read. Thanks for sharing this!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      SweetiePie,

      I know a lot of people who dislike cats because of their eating habits! But....we eat chicken. 

      Bob,

      Hey good to see you visit.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Hummingbirds are a wonder, thanks for sharing.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I know it is the nature of a cat, but I was devastated when they killed birds :(.

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Did you know cats feed on birds? TEE HEE.... Kidding... hope you don't try to go there now. Thanks for visiting Feline.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Such pretty pictures! I didn't know hummingbirds fed on nectar!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Thanks Kmadhav, makes me feel good to let others enjoy as much as i do.

      James... I have struggled with learning this camera and still so much i do not know. Glad you stopped in and shared your kind thoughts.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      How utterly gorgeous! Both the hummingbirds and your photography. I love this Hub!

    • Kmadhav profile image

      Kmadhav 

      9 years ago from New delhi

      c.s. alexis you did a amzing work ..simply great work...beautiful pictures with so much innocense .........

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Shalini,

      I know he watches me trying to photograph and i too thought he looked right at the camera in the one shot. thanks for stopping in.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      What delightful pictures! There's one there where he seems to be looking right at you!

      I didn't realise hummingbirds are so particular about their tastes :)

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Hey Dar,

      Your visit actually prompted me to write this because you, like everyone who sees the feeder wants to see the birds. Thanks for commenting!

      rnmsn,

      That is exactly what happened to me and then I switched food but the hummers did not come back until the following year. The second time I was quick to switch because I accidentally discovered that the birds preferred the sugar water instead of the store bought. I made a batch from a recipe off the web when I saw the first hummer early last spring.

      My intention was to use that until I could purchase vitamin nectar. When I bought a different brand and the birds would not touch it I quickly went back to the sugar water and have been "ALL GOOD SINCE"

    • profile image

      rnmsn 

      9 years ago

      hello C S! wonderful article!! and now I know why I had hummers here in the deep suth in march and not now...I made the nectar when they first showed up then bought the Wmart in the bottle and poof...no more hummers :( I will make them new nectar this wkend. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Dar 

      9 years ago

      This article is great! You are such a beautiful writer.....just the simplest things that bring pleasure to people.....as me...I love those hummingbirds........I enjoyed this article so much.......keep on writing....love it......

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Hey Tat, nice to have you visit.

      alekhouse....I am just outside of Chicago and no where close to Louisville.

      We also watch the birds with coffee in hand isn't it wonderful?

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks CS. They are so cute. I love hummingbirds. And I think your pics are good. My sister has a feeder just outside her breakfast nook, and when I go to visit her, one of things I enjoy doing is sipping a cup of cofee and watching the little birds flit around.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 

      9 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      They are so cute and beautiful. Thanks for this amazing pictures...

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      frogyfish,

      i got all of these shots this morning in about five minutes but, I waited three years to make that effort work!

      poorQpine,

      you are stuck on yourself...pun intended....LOL

    • poorQpine profile image

      poorQpine 

      9 years ago from USA

      Good to know you are chasing birds with that camera and not me! I get bored with the human invasion of Animal Kingdom Privacy. Lucky bird....

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 

      9 years ago from Central United States of America

      What a beautifully interesting hub - you must have waited a long time to catch all those pictures.  My mother (you like your mom too :-)  )  likes to watch her hummingbirds too, and she agrees with your sugar and water recipe also.  I had wanted her to add some bird vitamins - but it really didn't go over as well.  Interesting, and amazing!

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Wonderful! I'll come back to check every once in a while then. Exciting!

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR

      C.S.Alexis 

      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Frieda,

      I hope to get some better shots and I will post as I come up with them. Glad you enjoyed!

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Oh dear god, how beautiful! My inlaws have many many many hummingbirds on their lands. They've sent many a picture via postcard and love to oooh and aaaaah at them. What sweeties! Thank you for sharing!

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