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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sugar Craving

 We have three of these feeders out for the hummingbirds and they are draining them with mind boggling speed. These little guys have a real craving for sugar water. Each feeding station is full and there are birds swarming around waiting for a place to feed. So far we have gone through what sugar we had on hand and a 25# bag and are into the second 25# bag. They start feeding when it gets light enough to fly around and until it gets dark.
Carol now spends much of her day cleaning and filling hummingbird feeders. We have mostly Broad- tail hummingbirds but a few Rufus also. When a feeder is empty they will let us know by coming to a window and hovering in front of it until they have our attention. They are not only little gluttons but smart also.

8 comments:

Rain said...

Those photos are great, I've never seen so many! I tried to put up a hummingbird feeder near the house, but the ants got to it and were all over the deck. We have a nice lilac tree that they love to hang around, but we've had a wonky summer due to weather and the lilacs either didn't bloom or died quite quickly, haven't seen a hummingbird this year yet. Maybe I'll put the feeder closer to the woods and see if they eventually come back. I didn't know they were so smart, basically asking you for food!

Bruce said...

Rain: these little birds are amazingly smart. They can migrate hundreds of miles and remember every feeding station along the way. Then they can return to the same feeding station precisely. They feed on flowers and know and remember how to get the nectar from a flower and how long a flower takes to renew and then feed on it again. These little guys are amazing.

David said...

What is your ration of water and sugar for what you feed themm? Thanks! Mary

Bruce said...

We use 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water. We don't put any colors or anything else in it.

Keith Wire said...

Bruce, What kind are the black ones in the second picture?

Bruce said...

Keith: Those were at dusk and the feeder was under the eve and I couldn't get the camera to focus right. They are broadtail hummingbirds and an occasional Rufus mixed in. The Rufus are bronze color and the broadtail look similar to the ruby throated hummingbird. It was just a poor photo but I liked the outline so used it anyway.

Bea said...

Amazing! We have the broad tailed hummingbirds here in the southeastern corner of Canada too. They arrive around May 10 and leave this area around September 23, each year. They are never so many at the feeders as you experience. The males fight each intruder off and they buzz around the house, constantly on patrol and bomb dive out of a tree when they see a competitor at the food source. They even fight with the wasps that come to the freeders. I would love to see so many birds at my feeders, just for once in a time. And yes, they tell you when we need to fill up! :D

Bruce said...

Bea: They do the same here and they are amazing little birds. They will fly up to a pretty good height and then dive bomb down at each other and miss by a fraction. They hover, dive bomb, fly backwards, forward, and zoom off and fly through the trees at astounding speed. We enjoy watching them and are entertained by these precision flyers.