Just peek outside our front door, and hanging on the porch is a hummingbird feeder, and another, and a third one on a shepherd’s crook in the yard. These little birds are amazing! Their wings beat so fast, and they fly from the trees to the feeders and zoom around in the air, trying to keep each other from the nectar. And, my goodness, they can eat a lot. My husband puts out our feeders early in the spring. But, few hummingbirds stop to eat until the flowers start to disappear later in the summer.
Since August, the numbers have been increasing until there may be 15 to 20 hummingbirds merrily drinking their fill every day. Right now, we are making more than a gallon of hummingbird nectar daily, and filling the containers several times.Hummingbirds seem to be attracted to red, and their favorite feeder is the one that hangs by the hanging flower pot filled with red petunias.
According to the website, http://howtoenjoyhummingbirds.com, these little birds like their nectar to be made with one part sugar to four parts of water. If they are sipping from a flower, they will reject the nectar unless it is at least 12% sugar! Now, that’s what one might call being a finicky eater. The birds need this high energy drink because their wings can beat up to 80 times a second. Their wings go in a circular motion, and this allows them to fly backwards and also upside down! Mostly, they are flying right side up at our house, zooming down at each other to be first (or the only one) at the feeder, and zipping right back to the big maple or walnut trees for protection.
These little guys and girls are plentiful near our front porch this month, and we expect to see them the rest of September and maybe into October. We are never sure when to bring the feeders in until we don’t see them anymore. On the website noted above, I learned that hormonal changes in the birds tell them when it is time to head South. The ruby-throated hummingbird, which is the one that breeds east of the Mississippi River, may travel from South America to Canada in a season, migrating over 2000 miles! Many make a non-stop trip across the Gulf of Mexico, as well, a flight of over 500 miles. You can learn many interesting facts about hummingbirds, as well as watch lots of videos (including one of baby hummingbirds being fed by their mother) at the website above.
Right now, we get to enjoy watching them come and eat. They are so accustomed to my husband that they often fly around his head and stay close by even when he is filling the feeders. They are delightful to watch and well worth the sugar it takes to keep them stopping by. And, if you should spill red food coloring on your clothes while making nectar, just zoom a message to me, and I’ll ask my husband to tell you his laundry secrets for getting half a bottle of red coloring out of my favorite blouse!! (www.bagsandmorebypam.etsy.com – Contact me)
Hummingbirds love red, and if they could shop, I’m sure they would be attracted to these red creations from the Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team!