Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Hummingbirds Are Back!

This is my favorite time of year - I have flowers blooming everywhere, little seedlings are popping up in the garden and we have baby chicks brooding under a heat lamp in the garage. And, of course, the hummingbirds are returning from their winter migration!

We have several hummingbird feeders that we hang every spring. By midsummer, it's a veritable hummingbird buffet and we're refilling the feeders every couple of days. The little birds are fearless - they'll feed even if people are sitting on the porch a few feet from the feeders.

We love watching them - they swoop and dive and have epic battles over access to the feeders. A couple of years ago we even had a white hummingbird - she stayed for most of the summer, but hasn't returned since.

We make our own hummingbird solution using one cup of sugar to four cups of water. We don't use food coloring - the feeders attract the birds just fine without it, and some experts think the coloring might be harmful to the birds. Some websites advocate boiling the sugar solution, but we use well water, so it doesn't contain some of the impurities you might find in water from a municipal supply.

Last year things really got busy after the babies hatched - we had young birds and older birds visiting the feeders, and taking advantage of all the hummingbird-friendly plants I put in the flowerbeds. At one point I counted twenty birds at the various feeders and perching on the flowers. No wonder we were refilling those feeders so often!

I can't wait to see how many show up this year!


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We had one nest in our patio chandelier last year. Sadly, she did not return. They are lovely.

Thank you so very much for your recent kind thoughts and comments.

Debbie said...

We have had our feeders out for almost 2 weeks now and I have noticed them coming more frequently now. Last year we were filling up feeders almost every other day. When we had our family reunion and it rained we all ended up on the front porch and even with 30 people on the porch they kept coming.

Hope your enjoying the weekend!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Terri. Oh, I am so jealous of your hummingbirds. I have nectar out for them and the Orioles both and have not saw either yet. I love watching them zip around.
I am glad I am not the only one who has plants just jump into the shopping cart and follow them home.LOL!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Daisy said...

Wow! 20 hummingbirds at once! I've never seen more than two or three together at at time here. No wonder you look forward to their return! I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the return of spring. :)

Donatella said...

hummingbirds are so sweet I just love watching lucky are you to see 20 at once(:I have never seen that...injoy your weekend~

Terri said...

Laura, you had a nest? How exciting!

Debbie, they are brave, aren't they?

Lona, I know the hummingbirds will be heading your way soon!

Daisy and Donnatella, I'll try to get photos this summer of all of them clustered at the feeders - it's quite a sight!

Amy said...

I've hung our hummingbird feeder out, but no hummingbirds yet. I can hardly wait till we have some visitors.

Susie said...

We have that same feeder this year Terri. They have been coming to it now for a few days. I'm so glad to see them again.

DayPhoto said...

Oh, I so agree with you! The colors of birds, and bugs, and flowers lift my spirits and I feel more alive.