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Hummingbird and Feeders

Updated on November 22, 2014
RubyThroated Hummingbird
RubyThroated Hummingbird

Hummers

Hummingbirds are one of the most incredible birds around. Can't you just see Leonardo Da Vinci watching them as they hover during a meal from the center of beautiful flowers? Then he analyzed what he saw, applied some math and designed the first helicopter.All from watching a ting bird feeding on nectar Amazing!

But truly, we .love siting on the porch in the morning just before sunrise and watch these tiny wonders fly around having breakfast after the long night.


Used this feeder for years

Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder

This is a standard flat feeder that allows you to see all the way around the feeder with birds everywhere. We have had these around the porch, under the roof of the porch and on tables sitting close to us. Birds will come close if there are no quick movements that would make them nervous.

 

We have many of this particular feeder

For years we used this particular feeder. We have over a dozen of these still hanging around the back porch. The birds are easy for us to watch when they are feeding. It is also easy for the hummers to see each other when they are eating.

We consistently have between 2 and 3 dozen of these flying wonders off and on during the day. Sometimes we would see 2 or 3 birds on the same feeder but more often than not, the birds would try to run off the other ones on the same feeder. This is very entertaining as their control of flight maneuvers is amazing. Fighter pilots can learn a lot from close observation of the flight of these tiny birds.

Early just after sunrise and just before sunset, there is a mad flurry to fill up for the long night or for the first meal of the day. Generally, their manners are a little more gentle towards each other and towards the little ones. As the day warms up, tempers are somewhat closer to the surface.That is when you see how much theses little birds are like the fighters that the Air Force flies.

Also, the birds were emptying the feeders ever other day. Which meant that the feeders needed to taken down, washed out with hot soapy water, rinsed very well and refilled way too often. No big deal but still it became time consuming. More important, we were concerned about what would happen if we left for an extended time.


Broadtailed Hummingbird feeding
Broadtailed Hummingbird feeding

And so the search began for a feeder that would work for our dearly loved hummingbirds. The group is made up of many different hummers, all with distinctive colorings and personality traits.

We saw our first baby where the Mother and Father had brought the baby to a feeder and was teaching it how to feed. The baby boy was sitting there watching the Mother eat by dipping her beck into the feeder and drinking. The baby would immediately tip back its head and open its beck, crying for the Mother to feed it. The Father would fly over and try to push the baby's head forward towards the feeder. After nearly 30 minutes of this behavior, the Mother flew over and literately pushed its head down so that the beck entered the feeder. Once that happened, the baby drank and drank and would not leave the feeder. Even now after two years, this young male sits on that same feeder and watches the hummers fly over his head, trying to scare him off the perch. He remains stoic and watches but rarely gives up his space until he has had his fill. Then he leaves - only for a minute.

Anyway, we started looking for a better feeder - one that held more food that would last more than a day or two at the most. One of the places I always look first is Amazon, their selection is good and prices are also good. We found this feeder. It holds about a quart of liquid and we thought it might fit the bill.

So we sent away for one of the monstrously large feeders. It arrive two days later as promised. We made up our mixture of sugar water for the birds and filled the top. My husband took it outside to hang on one of the many hangers that we have preset and when inside the porch to watch the hummers find their new source of food. Nothing happened.

For three days, the birds flew around it but did not land or feed. I has about to take it down but left it for one more day. I was devastated.The liquid dish that held the food for the birds to feed from, was shallow and should be much better platform form which the birds to eat. But they just ignored it.

Until that fourth day and the birds descended on it. They covered seven of the 12 feeding holes in a very short period of time. Breakfast was served at all the feeders, but the new one appeared to be the most popular.


Best Feeder that We Have Found

First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder
First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder

This is the best feeder that we have found. The birds love it! The liquid flows into a relatively flat base so it is easy for the birds to drink.

 
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

This little hummer is one of the most numerous and the colors change in the sunlight. They have great personalities and are very pushy to make sure they control their preferred feeder.

Remember that hummers must eat to remain alive. their heart rates can range from below 50 beats per minute at night to over 1250 beats per minute. Try imagining your heat going 180 beats per minutes - your chest would feel as if it were going to explode.

On average, a hummer will life five years, so you will get to know the little ones that return again and again to the feeders you hang. I leave our feeders up all year round once I know that I would not change their migration patterns.

These tiny birds (smallest of the birds) live on the average of five years. So go ahead a name them - you will grow to love them all. We have named some of our birds and look forward to seeing at daybreak and just before sunset. We have feeding all day long but early morning and early evening, they load up with food.



Annas Hummingbird
Annas Hummingbird

Food for Hummingbirds

  • 4 - 4.5 Cups Sugar
  • 1 12 C pot Water, Very Hot
  • Ice Cubes, to Cool the Water Down

Instructions

  1. Put Sugar in a large glass pitcher.Heat the water to just under boiling. Pour over the sugar.
  2. Stir with whisk until the water is clear. Add ice cubes until the water is lukewarm.
  3. Wash the feeders with warm soapy water, making sure that any mold has been cleaned off. Rinse and rinse again.
  4. Fill the feeders and rehang where the birds have a clear path to and from the feeders.

Hummingbirds do not need the red food coloring that is added to many of the commercial hummingbird food that is sold. Make your own, the birds will love it and so will you. We always have a pitcher full on the counter so it is ready when the demand for more food is high.

Enjoy having these tiny animals fly around your home. They will stop and talk with you if you are out and close to the food sources. They often get eye to eye with us and we love it.

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    • tricomanagement profile image
      Author

      tricomanagement 2 years ago

      Thanks, Larry. I think you are right - these are amazing birds.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      The most amazing birds, to me. Great hub!

    • tricomanagement profile image
      Author

      tricomanagement 2 years ago

      Thanks for the visit, TJill, heDirt Farmer - broadtailed change color in the sunlight - you will love watching the hummers fly around the feeder to eat - we have even seen parents bring young and teach them to feed

      Sherry

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      I think we have the broadtailed here. Do they look brown? We've never fed them except with flowers, but now I'm thinking we should get at least one feeder. I'm hoping Grandma Pearl sees this hub! She's a real bird lover like you. Shared & pinned. --Jill

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thanks, I'll check that out!

    • tricomanagement profile image
      Author

      tricomanagement 2 years ago

      No - my camera is not that good! Bought the picture at Dune - great place to buy pictures if you need them

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      The first photo is fantastic! Did you ake these pics?