• Jen

Hummingbirds - Nature's Cheeky Little Devils

I love hummingbirds.

I don’t think there is anything in nature more entertaining than hummingbirds. Have you ever sat down and watched a hummingbird feeder for an hour or so?

I know, I know, who has that kind of time? I certainly don’t.

Here’s my trick for hours of entertainment, I strategically place my feeders where I can see them while I’m doing “mindless” tasks. For example, I can see one when I’m washing the dishes and when I’m sitting at the kitchen table. I also have one by the garden and on the deck of the sauna.

We have four feeders and usually get around three humming birds. You’d think that with each of them having their own feeder, more or less, plus an extra they would be content. Nope, they are not.

We have ruby-throated hummingbirds and we usually get two males and one female. With ruby-throated hummingbirds its easy to tell which are male and which are female. The males have the ruby-throat and the females are completely grey. The female we get each year also looks very graceful and feminine compared to her male counterparts.

(photo from: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruby-throated_Hummingbird/id )

The males fight the most out of the three. I’ve recently found out that ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most territorial of the species and they especially fight for food territory.

To mitigate the fighting it’s a good idea to put more feeders out. I guess if they have too many to guard the feeders are easier to share. Maybe I need to get even more feeders in my yard!

I put my feeders out at the end of May as soon as it stops freezing at night. In our area of Northwestern Ontario if can freeze at night well into late May or early June.

For the better part of the year my nectar ratio is 4 parts water and 1 part sugar. But, for my first nectar of the season its 3 ½ parts water and 1 part sugar just to give them an extra boost after coming back from the south. As much as possible I buy red glass feeders so that I do not need to attract the birds with dyes. I do have 1 clear feeder (I do not use dye in it) and it is one of my most used feeders so maybe the red on the perch and flowers are enough for them.

I have some theories on selecting feeders for hummingbirds. I’ve selected my top five to share with you and I’ve included a link to Amazon for your convenience.

1. Perky-Pet Red Hobnail Vintage Glass Hummingbird Feeder. I like this feeder because its so easy to fill and to keep clean. Its also red so again I don’t need any dies in the nectar.

2. Pennington Mini Planted – 2 Pack. I feel these feeders are attractive to hummingbirds because generally they are placed in flower pots and are among the flowers. So while these will attract several birds (my grandparents had 10 birds on several of these little feeders at once), they do empty quite quickly. If you get these and you attract lots of birds be prepared to fill them frequently. – I currently do not have any but will be ordering a few of these feeders again soon.

3. Classic Brands Toppercot More Birds 30 3-in-1. My kids love this feeder. We have it on the window by the dinner table. The kids frequently fight over who gets to sit closer to the window and watch the birds. Window feeders are the best because they bring the birds so close!

4. Perky-Pet 203CPBR. This is my most popular feeder. I think its because they can perch when they are eating. I highly recommend feeders with perches for your hummingbirds. They stick around longer and its easier to get some pictures of them.

5. Nature’s way bird Products MHF4 Modern Top Fill. This type of feeder is more for my enjoyment. I love pretty things in my garden. I also like this feeder because it’s a top fill, it’s a little easier on me. The birds frequent this feeder less than the others but it’s a nice addition to the garden.

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