The hummingbirds are in the last stages of their migration back to Central America. Since July my yard has been like an air raid zone with hummingbirds buzzing around the seven feeders and by the ones guarding feeders chasing the others around. One afternoon while up on a ladder washing the top of my truck, I almost had my ears buzzed off by one of the chases.
I came home one afternoon a week and a half ago, and it was so quiet. My quests had left on their migration. A couple of days later, I had another large group hitting the feeders heavily. After two inches of rain from Thursday night until Friday morning, they were hitting the feeders Saturday morning and had moved on with the cooler temperatures. Today another smaller group has stopped to rest a spell.
When feeding don’t use the store bought red stuff, it may cause tumors of the tongue in the little birds. You can easily make up a batch and store the leftover’s in the refrigerator. Use one part sugar and four parts hot to boiling water, cool and fill feeders. Be sure to clean the feeders every three to four days depending on the heat. If you are having problems with ants you can make an ant guard with a cap from a spray can. Cut a length of wire; file the ends to get rid of the sharp edge. While wearing gloves, put a loop at one end. Drill a hole a tad smaller than the wire in the middle of the cap. Feed the wire through the hole and make a loop at the other end. Caulk around the hole on top and inside, dry well and hang open end upwards on your hook. Fill the cap with water and hang the feeder from the loop below.
If you have praying mantis hanging on your feeder, move them to another spot away from the feeders. They are good critters which have a voracious insect appetite, but apparently can’t tell the difference between hummers and a bumble bee.
Check out my GRIT magazine blog post on the Coondog Cemetery and Spring Valley VFD.
Also my post on the W C Handy Festival