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Hummingbirds On My Front Porch

Updated on October 10, 2015
Hummingbird Mural in Central Tucson, Az
Hummingbird Mural in Central Tucson, Az
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird | Source
Black Chinned Hummingbird
Black Chinned Hummingbird | Source
Broad Billed Hummingbird
Broad Billed Hummingbird

My neighbor keeps her bird in a cage

And feeds the birds that flock to the feeders all day long.

The caged bird doesn't seem to mind

I know Dog the cat takes his quota of the wild birds.

Perhaps it is due to the abundance of seed bird feeders

That caused me to put out just the one hummingbird feeder.

Perhaps I believe Dogamus Primus has less of a chance to catch the hummingbirds.

Perhaps because they remind me of myself.

They dart in so fast to drink their fill, looking over their shoulder

All the time; afraid they will be spotted and run off the premises,

Afraid if they cannot get a drink they will go hungry,

With nothing to get them through a night of cold desert winds.

But I love the hummingbirds, even when they fight one another.

I love to figure out which species is visiting my feeder.

There seem to be three, that's all, just the three so far,

But the season has just begun, its is finally a true desert winter

With a temperature variant of 40 degrees from dusk to dawn

Soon, the snow will come and stay for weeks on top of the Catalinas

And the hummingbirds need all the sugar water they can hold

Plus the nectar they gather from all the desert plants.

In the meantime I keep looking for another, newer and better feeder,

One with a wide mouth for ease of cleaning.

One with a short barrel body so the sugar water won't spoil so fast.

One with tiny holes to discourage the wrens and finches.

They are cute but, as I said, my neighbor feeds them well,

And big David and I watch the birds, hold hands and smile

Their antics are better than anything on television

NCIS and Fringe notwithstanding of course!

Tucson Hummingbirds

There are six species of hummers that are abundant to Tucson, Az.

Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, The Black Chinned Hummingbird, The Broad Billed Hummingbird, The Broad Tailed Hummingbird and The Rufous Hummingbird.

Of those six, I think I have three at my front door at my feeder. I believe they are the Anna, the Broad Billed and the Black Chinned Hummingbirds. I have put up their pictures from the Hummingbird Society of Tucson website. I am relatively new to actually attempting to identify hummingbirds.

Wherever we have lived I have always fed the hummers. We have always had a cat and lets face it, they do love birds and hummers at least have a better chance against warrior cats. We have only had one cat that was not a warrior actually, that was Calle, she was such a sweetheart. She was our sons' cat and what a good friend she was to him!. She didn't really care for hunting and stalking and keeping dogs off the property, much less birds. She was content just to be in his lap or curled up next to her human!.

But hummingbirds, goodness aren't they warriors in their own right! They can be so territorial and aggressive against one another! It doesn't matter how many feeders you put up, they will just chase one another from one to the other, front to back, the epitome of fighter bombers of the sky!

Some people buy the nectar ready made, some of us just make the sugar water, some put red food dye in it, I don't think it really matters. The hummers seem to smell the sugar water and personally I think they prefer just boiled and cooled off sugar water myself. My Dad just used hot water and stirred until the sugar melted then put it out when it cooled off...I bring mine to a boil then turn it off and let it set on the stove top to cool off.

Regardless of the way you feed the birds the most important part is to change their water at least weekly and to clean all parts of the feeder thoroughly. For that reason I like the feeders with a wide mouth, not the ones that look like a soda pop container. I want to be able to get my sponge and my hand inside the container, sugar water ferments quickly and makes the feeder really gross.

I also discovered this year that buying a new one every now and then will bring more birds. Silly me, I still had the first one I ever bought, in 1995. This year I could see and hear the hummingbirds starting in October and they would look at that old feeder then look in my window at took me a while but finally it hit me...they wanted a new one! That old plastic thing was probably tasting pretty bad after 15 years!


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    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      thank you peachpurple!! I love to feed the hummingbirds..strange though/this summer the little finches and the woodpeckers are drinking the sugar water!I put out fresh water but they like the sweet

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      beautiful hub. I thought humming birds not rear as pets. I have heard humming birds humming in the morning at the rooftop of my house, sometimes hanging near the neighbors blossoming flowers and flying past by. Thanks for sharing the photos. Voted up

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      we are thank you!! the rains are here and it looks like this summer we might oh please get our required 3 inches and stave off the drought another season!

      I will go right off to D Roth and check it out! thank you bless you!!love you!!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Barbara,

      You might also like the hummingbird hub that D. Toth has written at

      Glad I had a chance to come back here and see your awesome pictures.

      Hope you're having a great weekend.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      oh boy Paula howd i miss you here!!!!!!

      yippee!!! now I am off to read some of yours!!!! love to you

      barbara b

    • profile image

      Paula Andrea Pyle 6 years ago

      I am so glad to find another Hubber who is on RedGage. I loved your article and the awesomely striking pictures. I find these little guys so fascinating. Best to you...

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      that is so sad!! I thought they were all over!! but we watch and feed all the birds

      we just found out that birds are the ONLY thing you are allowed to feed here in Arizona....but the rabbits come and eat off the quail block and the javalena come and push it around as well as anything their snout touches/ugh/scary things and the coyotes, deer, javalina,chipmuks,everything of course are drinking out of the concrete water was on the property when we rented it/built on the ground, big ole thing with a hole in the middle/looked like a water bowl to me :)

      we do love to watch all the critters but the hummers I have to wait and feed again come nov when its cool again...they are still here but have to content themselves on lantana and cactus blossoms and yellow coneflower...the bees bout drove us crazy the moment the temp went into the mid 80's you,barbara b

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      I love Hummingbirds but rarely see them here in Delaware. I have lots of trees and shrubs on my half acre property and many other birds, but this lovely species isn't one of them.

      I do, however, enjoy watching all birds and have a small stone waterfall on my deck which the birds love to drink from. Nothing more peaceful than watching them.

      Am voting this hub up, useful and beautiful. I must have missed it when it first came out.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      oh goodness bless your Aunt! angels were surely protecting her weren't they? did she eat the honey? :)

      I would fust for the revenge TAKE THAT YOU BEES!!!!

      what are doing up so late or rather early? full moon tonight called me out to the porch to listen to the nightsong/coyotes,saw an owl, heard the javalina but they didn't come to the house thank goodness they scare me

      bats were all asleep we watch them every evening my hubby and I/we have our together time on the porch every I love this desert but am worried for some of my friends who live off pantano and towards green valley/sahuarita and the wildfires...that smoke today was the biggest plume yet wasn't it? lord send us a deluge of monsoons this year please!!! we need a monsoon like we had in the 70's where it rained every afternoon for 2 hours dont we?

      I was in my late 20's/hadn't met my David/he'd have tried to stop me anyway/and my sister and I surfed down alvernon and columbus from Grant to Ft lowell on a big plastic garbage can lid!!! oh dude those were some good times!!!

      love to you

      barbara b,

    • Sethareal profile image

      Sethareal 6 years ago

      Never put up feeders just a flower garden, the mama bird strangely decided to build a nest right next to the house, kind of dumb for a bird to pick such a high human traffic area, luckily we used the patio door so not to disturb it. Never had bee problems myself but my aunt just found a hive in her house, like inside the walls it was dripping honey everywhere. Apparently if it had gone on much longer the honey was heavy enough to collapse the building! They were Africanized, it was pretty scary.

      I'm going to write a hub soon about our hummingbird, will definitely link to some of your articles on Tucson Hummingbirds, I love to go to the hummingbird atrium in the desert museum!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      how do you keep the bees away? I had to take my feeders down the moment it warmed up!!! I still have hummers but they are after the cactus and my lantana!

      glad to meet you sethareal and welcome!

      love to yu

      barbara b

    • Sethareal profile image

      Sethareal 6 years ago

      Very cool article! I live in Tucson too and this year they decided to nest right by the windowsill on our back porch, it was amazing to see the baby develop from an egg to leaving the nest! We usually get a migration of bats in the summer too, Tucson is awesome like that.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      uh oh then how bout reportting the red flowers and hanging them up high instead of having them grow in the ground?

      I have to be really careful what birds I feed and what flowers I grow cause Dog the cat is a warrior cat and is soooo proud to bring us his tributes to us! And I hate to have to tell him I am proud then bury the pretty birds!! but at least the nummingbirds are a little bit faster than he is!!I know what Jackie!! I have it!! overfeed the cat!!! make him so slow he wont care about the birds :)

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Our cat sits near the red flowers and pounces...sigh....I wish mama would let me kill the flowers,which draw the poor hummers to the backyard in the first place. Such a lovely bird!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I know Gus arent they the best? where are you? do you have the ruby throats? they were prevalent in Baldwin Co Al where we were for the last 15 yrs...but we are in our heart home of the sonoran desert in Tucson now and I am having a wonderful time with the hummers :) they will be here until it gets over 100 in July they go down to the Mex border then but come back once the temp comes below 100 again :)

      thanks for the comment and love to you

      barbara b

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      RNMSN - Yes indeed, hummers are really fun to have around - and they certainly are the toughest little guys you could ask for.

      Gus :-)))

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      thank you my dear acaetnna :)

      it was a gorgeous Sunday just chillin and watching the birds dive bomb one another then a lovely BBQ outside at the fire pit with my David :)

      love to you, barbara b

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 7 years ago from Guildford

      Lovely hub and awesome pictures.