Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lotsa Hummingbirds!

I am floored at the number of hummingbirds in my yard.
Last year, when the guy across the alley was repairing the roof on his old barn…he said he watched as many as 50 hummers at a time, buzzing around my yard. Well, that might be an exaggeration, though he did have a better vantage point of my whole yard from his roof-top, but I’ll tell you I’m thinking there are 30 or more here at the feeders just about any time of the day. Of course, very early mornings and late evenings are the busiest.

They are here at 5:30 am when I get up…feeding and fighting over feeders. I have five feeders and see as many as 6-8 birds at each one. I’ve shown other pictures of them here, group-feeding like little polite soldiers. I talk there, about my theory on why they settle down at in the early evenings and feed communally.

For those of you who follow such things, here are the 2009 arrival dates of the four species who regularly visit here:

  • April 22 – Broad-tailed
  • April 25 – Black-chinned
  • July 9th - Rufus
  • July 14th - Calliope

While I read others descriptions of a couple of each species at their nectar feeders, I’m astounded to find so many here. Is this unusual? I have no idea. I do have sort of a Wildlife Habitat going on in my yard…and continue to plant many bird-friendly trees, shrubs and perennials; but it is a slow process and nowhere near all that ‘wild’ yet.

I think I’ll just color myself lucky!

The first four of these (poor) photos were taken outside my kitchen window, where two of the favorite feeders hang.

These last four were taken from inside my kitchan, and show that hosing off a window is NOT cleaning it!

Also obvious here is the black, nylon, bird-netting I've hung outside my window. It has stopped the regular 'thud' of birds slamming into the reflection of sky and clouds; while this year I have had two actually hit, I've not had a death in over a year now!


Anonymous said...

I've only seen a few hummers this year. IT must be the wet and cold weather.

Beverly said...

Hiya guy!

That's what I'm I on some sort of 'Hummingbird Highway', perhaps? I hear folks in the area talking about a male here and a pair there...perhaps another pair around too; but certainly not in the numbers I seem to have. It's wild!

Nice to see you again!!! :)

Bosque Bill said...

I would not be surprised if your numbers continue to climb over the years. It is my belief that our thirsty visitors remember from year to year where the best feeding grounds can be found. I'd surmise this is a survival strategy.

The first year I moved back here I didn't know when to put out my feeders. One day I saw hummers come to the exact spot where my dad had hung his feeders every year for decades. They were hovering, looking puzzled. It was apparent the little birds remembered where the feeders had been even though I'd not hung them out, yet.

As new generations are hatched and come to the feeders with their parents, they too will learn about your generosity and will return next year. Such is my belief.

Furthermore, I believe the number we see at any one time is only a fraction of the total number using our feeders. If you watch, you will see one bird feed for a while then fly away. A different bird will then show up to feed. I can observe this as I have a couple birds that are uniquely marked - one is partially leucistic, for example. I only see those individuals a fraction of the time.

Beverly said...

Hi ya Bill!

I absolutely agree! I suspect that's why the guy on the barn sees so many more than I do...I'm too close!

However, Ted Floyd seems to think this is not at all unusual to have this many. I just think it's cool. LOl

Oh...I was recently asked to give a little talk on Hummingbirds to a local home-owners group of about 25 folks. It was fun...and they liked it. A woman who was there, has since contacted me and asked that I give the same talk to 100 women in her women's their luncheon. So, I get lunch AND they're gonna pay me $100. I suppose that makes me a professional (at long last), huh?

Oh, and last night a bear raided my feeders. I thought my dog kept them at bay, but he happened to be inside. I saw the thing walking about, inside the fence, when Zeus pitched a fit. Time to start bringing in feeders at night!!! I should have known better... dammit.

DJB's Photo Adventures said...

A friend of mine here south of Colorado Springs had 20 at one time at her feeders and I am sure there were many more! Garden of the Gods also has several feeders and hummers during migration!

Beverly said...

Debbie...thanks a bunch.

and...Hope to see you next year!

dAwN said...

Just catching up on your blog..its been a while u sure do have your share of hummers..and some really cool ones as well

hope to get here more often..been a busy summer.