Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hummingbirds are Here

Our fall migration begins usually in mid August through mid October. I have had quite a few people tell me they have hummingbirds at their flowers or feeders. My first little hummer to stay around and eat arrived at my feeder about 3 days ago. I was sitting outside near my feeder and before he ate he came over and hovered right in front of me just like he was giving me a greeting. It is great how such a small thing can give you such joy. 
 The most common hummingbird we see here is the ruby throated hummingbird. The male has the pretty iridescent red patch on his throat. You can see it if the light is shining the right way. The female is more green grey but I love them all. The males are very territorial and fight others for nectar all the time. If you can put up two or more small feeders apart from each other it is best for viewing and helping out the birds trying to avoid the bullies. 
 Most of our hummingbird feeders have enough red or bright color on them that coloring the nectar is not necessary. The nectar ratio is 4 water to 1 sugar (just plain old white sugar, never honey as this can harm the birds.) I find if I boil the water or microwave it first before putting the sugar it seems to stay fresh longer. Any extra nectar , keep in the refrigerator until you need it. In our heat unfortunately we need to change the nectar and clean the feeder every 3 to 4 days or at least every week and it helps to keep the feeder in the shade if possible. The heat makes the nectar ferment and can cause harm to the birds. 
 The second weekend in September you might try to attend the Hummer Bird Celebration in Rockport-Fulton , Texas, about an hour north of Corpus Christi. They are right on the migratory trail of the hummingbirds and at times have as many as 40 to 50 birds crowding around one feeder and they have feeders out all over town so you can imagine what a sight this is. To find out more information about this Festival you can call the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 1 800 826 6441 or on the internet at 
 Happy Hummingbird watching. 

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