Wildlife Ways
Vicky Carder

Hummer Update

Posted Friday, May 30, 2014, at 12:05 PM
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  • I was discussing a picture of a hummer the other day on facebook with some friends and the were talking about a few do's and do not's and a couple of the do not's that were mentioned was never use the red dyed sugar water because the dye was harmful to their kidneys and to always use the plastic feeders vs the metal ones especially brass or copper because the metals were also harmful...do you know if this is factual?....I'm fixing to restock and hang a few this week....I never knew what they had said...guess this old dog is still teachable...Thanks Mrs. Vicky

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Fri, May 30, 2014, at 12:52 PM
  • Hmmm. Very good questions. I somewhat knew about the red die, but not the metals. I don't use metals because of the heat factor...mine hang in the sun.

    I'm glad to know that our hummers are yet to arrive..I have been worried maybe they were delayed. Thanks for letting us know, and I will be looking forward to more info!

    -- Posted by haybar on Fri, May 30, 2014, at 3:58 PM
  • I had not heard about metal feeders either but I'm too cheep to buy one anyway so I guess I never thought about it. Glass is nice but gain, the price.

    We had a hummer come through a few days ago. Not sure if he stayed a day or not.

    We cut our normal refill in half but keep one going just in case.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 30, 2014, at 8:14 PM
  • Thanks for the post.

    I had a bunch of hummers last month. Now I have hardly seen any, and I'm getting ready to dump and refill my feeder. The feeder is still a quarter full after about 3 weeks- I want to put out some fresh food for them. I thought they might be nesting or something....

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, May 31, 2014, at 8:47 AM
  • I have used both metal and plastic feeders so I don't think it matters much. I suspect little birdie feet are more resilient to heat than we are.

    Don't buy the red dye!!! It's not healthy and will cost you more money. Save a milk jug and make your own. The ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part regular sugar. Make plenty and store it in the frig for up to a week. They love it cold.

    This recipe is the closest thing to actual flower nectar there is. Red water doesn't attract them - red coloring on your feeder will.

    Keep the food fresh but don't expect to see them in big numbers or at all until late June.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Sat, May 31, 2014, at 12:00 PM
  • Had two new ones buzz in today. Haven't seen them in a few hours so they might have already moved on.

    They definitely know the fresh from the old. I have two up and just replaced one with a half cup of fresh stuff. That is the only one they used.

    I had not thought about making some ahead of time and storing it. Thanks.

    Wildwoman, I am about to make a post about a kitten that we had a near death experience with today. See if ti sounds familiar. I'll call the vet on Monday but we have never experienced this before.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 31, 2014, at 7:02 PM
  • Have been seeing many more hummers, male and female.

    Also hearing from my sister in Moore county that she is having a lot of visitors as well.

    -- Posted by haybar on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 4:45 PM
  • We too are starting to see male and females so I guess the season for our regular travelers is fast approaching.

    Our regular bird feeders are staying pretty active as well. When seeds start coming into season, we usually cut back on the feeders, but the birds are not playing along.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 9, 2014, at 9:30 AM
  • I know what you mean ! :) my regular feeders are very busy so I'm also keeping them filled. I'm afraid I have made them dependent.

    -- Posted by haybar on Mon, Jun 9, 2014, at 4:54 PM
  • Apparently we have made our woodpeckers dependent wit our bird feeders. They held our wood bees hostage, threatening to eat their babies if we did not refill the bird feeder.

    We refilled and they abandoned their harassment of the bees. We need all the pollinators we can get.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 11, 2014, at 7:48 PM
  • Hmmmm, I had a yellow bellied woodpecker and a smaller woodpecker trying to get to the hummingbird fluid, one of my feeders has lost the lil flowers so the holes are larger. They have also been eating from regular feeders black oil sun flower seeds.

    -- Posted by haybar on Thu, Jun 12, 2014, at 1:43 PM
  • Do you think the new generations of birds will become dependent on feeders or will they be able to forage with out the feeder?

    -- Posted by haybar on Thu, Jun 12, 2014, at 1:45 PM
  • Sorry, haybar!

    I have pneumonia and have been out of the loop...

    Wild birds will never become dependent on our feeders. On an average birds only use feeders for less than 2% of their diet.

    Of course, a wild baby bird will become dependent on humans unless it it taught to fend for itself.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Wed, Jun 18, 2014, at 9:56 AM
  • My gosh, are you ok? I was wondering about the baby birds, do you think even having the feeders filled during summer that the "parents" show new babies how to forage?

    -- Posted by haybar on Wed, Jun 18, 2014, at 12:51 PM
  • I am on the mend! Thank you for asking. Parent birds will always teach their babies to forage.

    In fact, juvenile birds are unable to fly for about a week after they leave the nest. This is the time period that parent birds teach the youngsters how to find food.

    Isn't God amazing?

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Thu, Jun 19, 2014, at 6:45 AM
  • Yes God is amazing ! I love taking at least a moment everyday to notice something from nature - the singing in the morning is incredible, early in the morning for about 15 min you can actually notice things starting to move about. Two evenings in a row I seen a bat fly the parimeter of my pool flying low to the water.... It was great. Not sure if it was drinking or catching unsuspecting Mosquitos. It actually buzzed by quite close as I stood there still watching. I love seeing the squirrels master climbing the shepherds hook to get at one of my feeders, hanging precariously upside down for a snack, while the birds sit in the branches and wait.

    I hope you are feeling better, I check your blog daily for any tidbits, or new topics !

    -- Posted by haybar on Thu, Jun 19, 2014, at 6:01 PM
  • Haybar, I must have missed your last post here. I love your description of the morning wake-up. Nature can be really entertaining.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 11, 2014, at 9:36 AM
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