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Thread: Hummingbirds 2017

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210

    Hummingbirds 2017

    Let us know of your first sighting of the year!

    Hummingbirds.net tracks the migration of the Ruby-throated hummingbird each year. I use it to get an approximate on when our black-chinned hummingbirds might be arriving in our neck of the woods. Looks like they may arrive a little earlier than usual this year. It's time to get your feeders out.

    Searching through the Spin it looks like there are posts from 2006 through 2014 showing when they have arrived in the area. I guess after that it all moved to Facebook, but I'm gonna post it here because I love having a way to look back on things (not as easy to research on Facebook).

    First sightings of hummingbirds and who saw 'em:
    2006 - Me - March 31
    2007 - Krackerjax - March 21
    2008 - Olivia - March 22
    2009 - Me - March 22
    2010 - Oldgoat, Traveler - March 27
    2011 - cyotefishing - March 18
    2012 - cyotefishing - March 19
    2013 - Me @ NY Hill Restaurant - March 17
    2014 - joey - March 21
    Hummingbird Nectar Recipe - Dos and Don'ts


    As simple as the actual recipe may be, there are certain dos and don'ts that need to be followed, while making the hummingbird nectar recipe.



    • Ensure the use of clean utensils while making the nectar. Hummingbirds are easily affected by contamination.
    • Though there is no reason to do so, avoid using artificial sweeteners in the nectar, as they do not provide the nutrition that sugar does. Sugar is what gives them the high metabolism they have.
    • It may be a fact that hummingbirds are attracted to color, which is why the hummingbird nectar mixes available contain red dyes. However, these dyes may be toxic in some cases, which harm the hummingbirds. Do not add any artificial coloring agents or dyes, while making the hummingbird nectar recipe. If you wish to attract a hummingbird using color, try to use a red feeder instead.
    • Avoid using honey instead of sugar, because honey contains certain bacteria that are harmful for hummingbirds. Honey also tends to ferment quickly which can be dangerous for the birds.
    • Though it has been said that the nectar in a feeder can last for up to a week, pour only enough amount of nectar in the feeder that will last for a maximum of two days. This is important because as soon as a hummingbird sips from the feeder, the nectar gets contaminated, giving rise to mold if not cleaned quickly. Also, if the nectar is fresh, it will definitely keep those hummingbirds coming back for more.
    • To be able to keep the nectar fresh, it is important to keep the bird feeders clean as well. The best way to prevent the growth of mold or any other contamination is to clean it on a regular basis. Every time you change the nectar, rinse the feeder with a solution of hot water, and a very small amount of vinegar. Ensure that the smell of vinegar has left the feeder before you pour in fresh nectar. If you find mold growing in the feeder, soak the feeder in hot water and a small amount of bleach to eliminate it.
    • Place a number of feeders in your garden to attract more hummingbirds. However, place them at different levels, as a certain species of hummingbirds tend to buzz lower for nectar, while another species does so at higher levels. This also eliminates any competition for the nectar.



    Why Does Sugar Water Made for Hummingbirds Turn Cloudy?


    Birdwatchers often enjoy looking at birds up close, and providing feeders is a way to get that chance. While hummingbirds consume large amounts of nectar from flowers, they also drink sugar water provided in hummingbird feeders. That sugar water can become cloudy for a variety of reasons, however. Hummingbirds may avoid a cloudy feeder, or they might consume the cloudy water and become ill.

    Bacteria


    The primary cause of cloudy water is bacterial growth. Bacteria can find their way into feeders from the sugar, the water or even from the hummingbirds' tongues. To decrease the likelihood that the sugar or water introduces contaminants, try to sterilize the solution before filling the feeder. One technique is to simply boil the water and then add the sugar. A second method is to boil the water, add the sugar, and briefly bring the entire solution to a boil. There is no way to control the bacteria brought by the birds themselves.


    Mold


    Mold can also cause cloudy sugar water, though the solution will usually have a dark color from the black mold spores. Again, mold could be due to the water or the sugar, which can be solved by boiling. But it's more likely that mold will be introduced by feeding birds or insects.


    Sugar Amount


    Most hummingbird sugar-water solutions contain four parts water to one part sugar, but they can be made using almost any ratio. The higher the proportion of sugar, though, the more quickly the solution will go bad. Sugar is a food source for bacteria and mold also.


    Environmental Causes


    However bacteria or mold winds up in the sugar water, certain conditions allow the contamination to increase. The warmer the outside temperature, the faster the bacteria or mold will grow and spread. When the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it's OK to clean it every seven days. But when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees, it should be cleaned more frequently the hotter it gets.

    Feeder Location


    Place your feeder in a shaded spot to avoid high temperatures, especially if you won't be able to change the sugar water often. Also consider placing it where you can see it, both for your birdwatching enjoyment and so you don't forget to maintain the feeder.

    How to Clean


    When possible, purchase a hummingbird feeder that is easy to clean. It should be easy to disassemble so each part can be accessed. Use hot water or a vinegar solution for cleaning. Do not use soap or detergents. If there is mold present, you may need to use a scrubbing device as well. You also may boil nonplastic pieces.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    5,421
    I wish I was in shape again to visit New York Hill again to see the birds much more so to eat at Mays in Eastland. My 2 favorite places.
    I have been watching here in Dallas for a sign of the rare birds, but the flaming red bush blooms way to early for the birds around the house. We do have some of the fancy white flowers that grows out of bulbs in the front but nothing like the wild flowers we had at our old home. Acres of Russian thistle that I had sown across the place in the unused land 5 ft tall in most places.
    A beehive of red Cardinals & humming birds

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    18,406
    Got my feeders up today.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Quote Originally Posted by cyotefishing View Post
    Got my feeders up today.
    Me too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    Yup!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    Got a couple of hummers this morning, spring has sprung.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Cyote contacted me yesterday to say she had seen a hummingbird but she said when she got to EastlandSpin it told her the site wasn't secure so she stopped there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    Them hummers like this county road because the karma is blue and bubbly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Well I finally saw my first hummingbird at my house yesterday. My feeder has been emptying since i first put it outside a couple of weeks ago but hard to tell if that was something feeding or wind dumping it out.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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