Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Is anyone else missing their hummingbirds?

Posted Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 7:57 AM
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  • I live between Unionville and Rover and have had 2 hummers for the past 1 1/2 wks. But they don't seem as active as last year and I only see them occasionally. I usually have more and see them several times during the day.

    -- Posted by patszoo on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 6:46 PM
  • The hummingbirds that are seen in this area are here temporarily as they head north. The hummers that nest here won't arrive until July.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Fri, May 4, 2012, at 6:12 AM
  • Wow, I did not stop to think that the early arrivals were not actually staying. I am going to have to offer them hats to wear so I know my regulars. Somehow they look alike. :-)

    Would the travelers have come through much earlier than years past because of the warm winter or are they influenced more by the position of the sun, or something else?

    Our feeders have been going down, but we see no one visiting them. They must be REALLY fast this year.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 4, 2012, at 8:14 AM
  • i have not seen any.. i am bummed!

    -- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, May 4, 2012, at 2:09 PM
  • Hey, if they are headed north they should be in Wisconsin by now. I have seen one and it took a quick drink and left. Most often they show up around mother's day.

    I mix my own nectar two water to one sugar. I am always in doubt if this is best? Also, I spend way too much time in battle with some very determined ANTS!!! Any ideas.

    I too agree this crazy weather may have them very confused.

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 7:43 AM
  • There are many theories about the migration instincts of hummers - sun position, insect and nectar availability, chemical reactions in their bodies, etc.

    While we often think about nectar and nectar replacements for food, they really require lots of small insects for nutrition, especially when they migrate. We can view nectar as hummer's Energy Boost!

    I am the former director of a wildlife rehabilitation hospital -

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 8:06 AM
  • The closest that we can get to actual nectar for the hummers is a 1:4 ratio - 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Never, never use the pre-mixed and artificially flavored stuff!

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 8:07 AM
  • Thanks, so I need to add more water. And now, how about those ANTS!! They don't make it to rehab. around here.

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 9:41 AM
  • I would consider some petroleum jelly smeared on the walking route the ants use. It should stay on a while and stop them.

    That is a benign way but I am sure there3 are more direct approaches.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 8:00 PM
  • Thanks Steve, that is one I haven't tried. I have done the red pepper, vinegar, salt and every spice know to man. The war is on!

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 2:18 PM
  • My reasoning comes from other gardening measure where the path to the reward for the insect is limited. They have to walk a certain path.

    If you do not want to put petroleum jelly directly on the post, you can wrap it in plastic or aluminum foil first, then lather the pj on the plastic/foil.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 4:18 PM
  • There is a great product that you can buy as a hummingbird feeder accesory. It is a cup of sorts, that clips on at the top in the middle of the cup to your chain,rope, string, etc. that you hang the feeder with. The bottom of the cup has a clip that attches to your feeder. Fill the cup with water and NO ANTS! As long as you keep the cup filled with water. They are great, but I haven't seen them around here for sale...I looked it up online and it's called an ANTMOAT. Worth every penny!!!

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 7:17 PM
  • Sounds pretty ingenious. I've never seen one either.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 9:37 PM
  • Check Lowe's - there is also a bell-shaped cup that clips to the top of the feeder and is intended for petroleum jelly - it is spread on the inside of the cup.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Mon, May 7, 2012, at 12:46 PM
  • Yeah, we saw a hummer yesterday and again today!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 12, 2012, at 12:02 PM
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