Hummers Opted to Stay

Two months ago, I lamented the departure of the hummingbirds and practically experienced hummer withdrawal as they withdrew. Well, wherever many of them went, it was only temporary. Perhaps they decided their destination was too far. Perhaps there was no nectar along the route. Perhaps when they arrived, they found too many other hummers or no food at all. And . . . perhaps I’ve spoiled them. Or, trained them? Is that possible? They have come to realize that they can always find full feeders at the front of our house. So . . . the reverse is probably true–they have trained me! We have between 40-50 hummingbirds, with 20-30 nectaring at seven feeders at any given moment. I buy sugar 30 lbs. at a time. I always have a half-gallon of sugar water ready to go. And when I spot one or two of the feeders nearing empty, I’m already refilling the clean extra feeder I have at the ready to swap out. I’m hooked! I’m fascinated. I’m in love. They are sweet, friendly, and only a couple are bullies–patently ignored by the others. And what is their day like? They begin at the crack of dawn, at the feeders.  All day long, they feed and fly around, flinging their waste all over, then filling up again. At 3:45 p.m., they convene for an hour-long feeding frenzy that takes them through the cold night. Before dark settles in, they’re gone, as if a leader among them gave a signal. And that’s the signal for me as well–to boil more water, make yet another half gallon of nectar, and refill the feeders so the hummingbirds can  refuel early the next morning. And they thank me by showing up and letting me quietly stand there in red vest to snap pictures. [Nectar recipe: 4 parts boiled water, 1 part sugar; stir, dissolve well, cool, refrigerate.]

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About writersandy

Writer, Gardener, Crafter
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2 Responses to Hummers Opted to Stay

  1. I don’t know why I haven’t been following your blog all along! I just caught up and enjoyed Ashland, wine country, classroom writings and your gorgeous wreaths. Your writing really comes alive when you talk about nature and your gardens. I found a fabulous TED video that I think you and your followers would appreciate: http://www.youtube.com/v/xHkq1edcbk4?version=3 It’s really an unbelievable film of pollination. Meanwhile, you can consider me a follower.

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