The Summer of the HummingbirdsPosted: August 24, 2015
There are a few animals that especially interest me: sea turtles, elephants, dolphins, whales, tigers, and hummingbirds. Out of this group, the only critters I can observe in my own backyard are hummingbirds. I’ve been so enthralled with my friend Jane’s feeder at her lake home, upon which multiple hummingbirds feed at a time. Impressive, huh? This summer I decided to try my luck again. I purchased a new feeder at my local nursery. I bypassed all the shelves of the gaudy red and yellow feeders and headed for the cooler looking ones. I selected one I liked made out of an antique blue mason jar. I hung it outside of my office window where I could see it when I wrote. I waited quite patiently for the hummingbirds to find it. But none came. Zero. Zilch. I tried two different locations, but the subtle white and yellow flowers feeding stations didn’t attract any callers. I guess they’re not into cool old mason jars. Then I saw a real live ruby-throated hummingbird at my hanging basket in the front of the house and also around my flowers on my back deck. Ha! They were around. So, I went back to the store and bought a different one. This one has a yellow top and the feeding station has red flowers with yellow centers. Alakazam! Hummingbirds! Hello . . . gaudy works. I guess that’s why the shelves were full of them.
Then came the wasps and bees. They even attacked the birds as they tried to feed. My research told me I needed to change the syrup more often and there were certain feeders wasps find less attractive. So off I went to buy one of those. It’s round with a diameter of seven inches and height of an inch and a half, red top. The directions on the box said to make a syrup with a ratio of two cups water to 1/2 cup sugar. Boil to disolve the sugar. I put it in the back where the bees had been, and moved the gaudy one with fresh syrup in the front. The little birds can sit and drink at the new feeder, and both feeders are now visited frequently by the birds, and thank goodness, the wasps and bees have been sparce. It’s such a joy to watch these beautiful little creatures.