Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hummingbirds Will Arrive Again Soon!

                                                 
My male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is back 'home' for the summer!
by Grandma Pearl
If you are a hummingbird lover like me, then you will be interested in the newest Citizen Science Project from  Audubon coming in March, 2013.  Sign up to receive information in your email

Around about the last week in April, or the first week in May my hummers will be back!  I always look forward to their arrival.  The males will come first, with the females following about a week later.

I’ll never forget that warm spring day. I had just started outside to survey my gardens when a tiny shimmering green female hummingbird came speeding toward me at eye level. My first reaction was, of course, to move my head back to avoid what I thought to be a certain collision. Instead, she suddenly stopped about a foot from my face and hovered for a few seconds looking into my eyes, then sped away to the newly-hung nectar feeder.
After I gathered myself from being so startled, I had a flash of insight---she was saying ‘hello’ and showing appreciation for the ready food source after her long journey!  Read more about my very personal encounters with these little flying jewels.  
Tiny Hummingbird in silhouette perched in the tree right over my head.
by Grandma Pearl
Here is my own easy homemade nectar recipe:   
I use a 32 oz. Pyrex glass measure because it has a convenient spout and I can easily see the measurement lines.  Add pure cane sugar to the ½ cup line on the quart measuring cup.  Then fill it to the 2-½ cup line with cold water.  Stir with a wooden spoon and place uncovered into the microwave.  Times will vary with the size and power of your microwave, but mine takes 2 minutes on High to come to a simmer.

After removing my homemade nectar from the microwave, I stir again to make sure all the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.  Allow the nectar to cool to room temperature before filling your feeders.  Refrigerate any remaining nectar to use at the next refill.  I use a Mason jar with a regular, tight fitting screw-on lid.

It is very important to note that you must use only pure cane sugar.  Artificial sweeteners or honey are deadly to hummers and should never be used as nectar.  Hummingbirds cannot assimilate these sweeteners and therefore can gain no nutrition from them.
Bee Balm is a hummingbird magnet!
from my garden--Grandma Pearl
                                                       

Here is a list of Hummingbird Attracting Flowers and Shrubs:

Foxglove, Agastache, Delphiniums, Larkspur, Azaleas, Flowering Quince, Indian Pink, Bleeding Hearts, Mexican Sunflower, fragrant Bee Balm, Lemon Balm, Day Lilies, Coral Bells, Honeysuckle, Impatiens and Columbine.
If the plant has a deep throat or spurs, it will attract hummers.  Every year I have a huge area that fills in naturally with wild Jewelweed, also known as Touch-Me-Not, a member of the Impatiens family.  My hummingbirds fly in and out of that patch constantly.   Salvia, Scarlet Runnerbean as well as Zinnias and Geraniums will also serve to beckon hummers to your yard and gardens.  My hummers are especially fond of the Weigela bushes as well.

1 comment:

rusticbarnwoodbirdhouses.com said...

Can't wait for my hummers, and spring, to arrive!