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Any humming bird watchers here?

Posted by northerner_on Z5A ONCanada (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 2:41

Thanks to many of the wonderful members of this Forum, after 6 years I now have a wonderful butterly and bird garden. Today, I saw my first hummer for the year, quite early for me. It took a sip from one of the spikes of my sage plant, one of my earlier WS treasures. This was also the first time I've seen a hummer take nectar from this plant. So who's seen hummers so far this year?
Unfortunately, I've never been able to get a photo. That'll be my next challenge.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

  • Posted by nan-6161 Zone 7 Long Island, (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 5:56

We saw our very first hummingbird of the season about 2 weeks ago. Very early for us, as not much was blooming yet. He was flittering around our deck area. We usually have 2-3 that seem to stick around by our wall of trumpet vine, but that hasn't set any flowers yet. When it does we sit and watch them in the early evening - such buzy, beautiful, tiny creatures!


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 11:06

New -to-me gardens and I don't have many perennials yet, more like an acre of neglected mature shrubs and trees (good hummingbird habitat)...we're working on it, is going to be a while :) There is a wide circular drive and one entire side is lined with pots of things I dug and moved, I've got no place ready to plant them still. (November move) I have a few decades of ivy to get out of here :(

DH hung a feeder before we'd even moved in. And, maintained the winter feeders at our former house until we listed and sold last month - he picks up our tech for work every day across the street so was on the block anyway was his reasoning. Our Anna hummers don't migrate and are with us year round and they are tons of fun, entertainment...

I've been treated to a rufous this year when I usually just see those in passing. This one has been here daily for the last 6 weeks, it looks like a spray painted ping pong ball, very chubby little guy. And talk about territorial, if outside this office in the area of his 'restaurant', he's right in your face, squeaking and whirring. Visitors are startled and duck, we're used to him :)


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

I've seen a couple of hummers over the last two or three weeks. Thanks to winter sowing I also have a garden full of good hummingbird attractors. When cutting back my clematis vines this spring I found a tiny, tiny nest. Maybe a hummingbird nest from last year. Who knew?


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

Yes definitely, I've got a hummingbird garden in the back yard, but there are plants all over the yard for the hummers to nectar on.

My first sighting is usually in late May or early June, on the Aquilegia or Heuchera. I haven't seen the resident hummer yet, but I've heard her a couple times. Last year, I kept thinking I was hearing one, but didn't see it. Hummingbirds will return to the same location year after year, so I figured out there must be a new resident hummer, and she is an extra hyper little bird that zooms around the yard at top speed.

Once the Monarda starts blooming, I see the hummingbird(s) regularly. The Monarda is followed by Lobelia cardinalis, and then the Salvia - Yvonnes, Lady in Red, and Black & Blue. Those are the top 3 in my gardens, but there are an assortment of other plants they like too.

I've watched numerous aerial dogfights over the cardinal flower.


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I've had a hummer neglecting my feeder but feasting on my hanging pot of wave petunias right next to the feeder. I don't really care what they feed on - as long as they are around!


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

Humming Birds have been here in my neck of the woods since mid May. Didn't have anything blooming at the time for them...just had the feeders up :)
Next year hopefully this years Columbine....and lots of it....will be in bloom when they arrive! I picked up some red blooming Heuchera and got them sowed, but still waiting for germination...it's been a good 3 weeks already!
Right now they visit the German Catchfly, Petunia and last years Black Prince Snapdragon is just starting to bloom. Soon enough the Four O'clock, Impatiens balsamina, Nicotiana and Verbena bonariensis will be blooming too. Don't have much in this new garden for the hummers....YET lol!

Vera


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

  • Posted by mori1 5/6 KS (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 10:26

I get hummingbird moths that love the honeysuckle but no hummingbirds as of yet.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

I have seen a couple of hummers. After my first sighting I had to run out and find something for them to feed on. I don't have much in bloom yet. My annuals seem really stunted this year. Only one red nicotiana about to bloom, the others are just laying there, no stems yet. My tallest Yvonne salvia is only about 6" and there are many that are stunted without first true leaves yet.

I bought a hanging wave (pink) petunia and a (fushia) million bells and also some salvia - purple, red and coral. They are very shy of me this year. So far.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

I saw my first one of the year in early May, way too early for Colorado. There was absolutely nothing blooming in the area, we had below freezing temps and snow! I didn't think he would make it but put out a feeder and kept swapping them out when they froze. He made it through the cold temps just fine. Thought we'd have a huge hummingbird season with seeing that one so early but has been pretty normal since then. We had an enormous pine tree behind the deck that they nest in every summer.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

October, we had a cool and wet June here, so the annuals are probably a bit behind. My Salvia seedlings are still small 4-10 inches. The zinnias are only 4-6 inches, and the Tithonia is somewhat taller, with several over a foot. The morning glories are just getting going up the trellis. I'm not too worried, by August and September they will all be putting on a show.

The red noid Monarda is now blooming like crazy, and the Raspberry Wine is getting going - and I am finally seeing the hummer daily and sometimes multiple times a day!


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I am fairly new to this but after only 2 yrs of hard work have had 2 hummers in the last week, an adult nectaring on my Salvia ‘Van Remsen’ (very tall and the same general type as ‘Black and Blue’) and a juvie flying around and eyeing my new Salvia ‘Amistad.’

Here are pictures of my salvia. If you have time, click Next through the salvia to pics of my new Blue Passionflower, a host plant for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. But I haven’t seen any eggs yet! Thanks, northerner, for this wonderful topic.

Pictures of my salvia, click Next to advance


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

I just got an adorable feeder at a yard sale. I need to buy the stem/plug for it since it was missing. I was wonder if it would be better to mix sugar and water or local honey and water to feed the hummingbirds? We don't have any in our yard, but I'm sure they'll turn up.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 0:11

No, No, No. Never honey. Only white sugar mixed 1 part sugar to four parts water. I'm not sure it matters if you boil or just stir, I do boil mine then cool before washing feeders (including feeding ports and rinsing very thoroughly) then refilling.

A honey water solution can quickly become toxic and even deadly. Honey rapidly ferments and may culture a deadly bacterium. No brown sugar, molasses, or artificial sweetener either.

Your feeder is adorable. Functioning garden art, it will serve two purposes :) Just use plain sugar and water, no food coloring, no anything else. One part sugar to four parts water is adequate calories to sustain and fill them up.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 15:29

Dovetail, I didn't think to mention last night - if you haven't been seeing hummingbirds in your yard and want to attract them to that feeder, they might find it more quickly if you tie a piece of red ribbon to it temporarily until they've become accustomed to it as a food source. I know it doesn't need the pretty design altered to look lovely, but you may notice the hummers may need a bit of tantalizing to come in close and investigate.

When we moved to this house I was seeing a hummingbird darting around these office front windows as I worked - week after Thanksgiving :). DH had put a feeder in back off the kitchen, but I had hung a Christmas wreath with nothing on it other than a red bow on the outside of the hallway door. They saw the bow immediately, were checking it for food :)

I didn't have a wreath for the main front entrance yet that week then used bronzes and golds, no red to tease them.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

I was thinking about the red thing! I don't like to use dyes, so I was thinking of something red, a bow would be Perfect!

I love little hummers, I'm so excited to see them again.<3 the bird store lady said if I keep the feeder out they'll come all winter on their way to Mexico.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

That is a pretty feeder Dovetail, and yes they usually have some red on them to attract the hummers.

I decided to put a feeder up in July, which I have only done 2X in 8 years. This is because it got very dry, and the town started watering restrictions, so I thought the nectar would dry up on the hummingbird plants. Then we had plenty of rain, and now it's dry again. Anyway, I've seen up to 3 hummers at one time, and they are constantly tussling with each other over the feeder or the flowers, they love them both. It's very entertaining!

River, how is your Salvia guaranitica coming along? I've got about 6-8 'Black & Blue' plants and 5 seedlings which are just getting going. Salvia 'Yvonnes' is also starting to bloom. The Salvia 'Lady in Red' has been going strong for weeks, as well as the Lobelia cardinalis, and the tall Zinnias all of which the hummers love.


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RE: Any humming bird watchers here?

Thanks to everyone who kept us up-to-date with their hummingbird sightings. River_crossroads, thanks for your beautiful photos. The only purple salvia I have is purple rain which attracts lots of bees and butterflies, but no hummingbirds. I actually just returned from a vacation in Barbados (late July to Sep. 18) so I missed the hummingbirds here but there are lots of hummingbirds there. I believe I saw them daily feeding from a variety of flowers whose names I don't know. It was quite fascinating. Now it's time to take all those beautiful annuals down. But then...there's always next year!!!


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