“Feed the Birds! NOW, Dammit!”

By , June 20, 2019

The hummingbirds are back at it, and getting out of control!

We have always enjoyed hummingbirds in our yards, both here on the homestead and when we lived in Juneau. We talk about them a lot on this blog, of course (see Hummingbird Wars among many others).

empty hummingbird feeder

“Oh, WAITER! Clear this away, please. And, we’ll have another.” (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

We don’t know exactly what’s going on. We have yet to determine if the eggs have hatched, and the hatchlings have fledged, or if the females are getting ready for a second clutch. We see a definite uptick in hummingbird activity right around the summer solstice, but this year, more than in past years, the birds involved seem to be adult sized. Could the hatchlings have grown that fast? We don’t know. Our bird books haven’t helped, and our internet connection continues to be extremely slow, or I’d search on line for the answer.

We also notice that, although there appear to be a few males around (they mostly moved elsewhere after the first mating period) most of the individuals involved appear to be female.

Whatever else is going on, they’re eating us out of house and home!

We always set out feeders for the hummingbirds (see Recipe: Hummingbird Feeder Nectar). This year, we have four of them in play.  Luckily, for our viewing pleasure, and maintenance convenience, they favor the one in the corner outside our dining room window, and the one across the dooryard.

Because it’s getting hard to keep the things full!

Right now, they’re literally flocking to the feeders. It’s easy to see about 10 birds in one glance. This goes in flurries, of course. Much of the day, there are no birds at the feeder, or just one. Then, all of a sudden, they literally swarm! They’re draining the biggest feeder, the one next to the house, in 12 hours or less. And by “draining,” I’m talking about down to the last couple tablespoonfuls. Their second favorite drains almost as fast, but because it’s smaller, they obviously prefer the one near the house.

female hummingbird at feeder

Sometimes, a girl likes to sit alone and have a drink (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Conveniently for all of us, I misread the recipe linked above, and ended up with 2 quarts of concentrate. To refill the feeders, I need only measure out about a cup of concentrate, and add 3 cups of filtered water, and we’re good to go.

And dammit, I’d better be good to go, because those little birds are rather impatient! We often get buzzed as we take the feeder down, and again when we put it back.

Just a note: We’ve got the June episode of A Place at the Table ready for our upper level Patreon Patrons, but the cruise ships are keeping me from getting it uploaded. Hopefully, that’ll happen soon!

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy