Took The Hummingbird Plunge Today-Help Appreciated(FNG)

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by cyberghostx13, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. wickedbeernut

    wickedbeernut

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    Count the hummingbirds ... I count 23. I'm sure I missed a few. And this is just one of my six hummingbird feeders. You can understand why I spend an hour every day preparing nectar, cleaning and refilling feeders.

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  2. n2g

    n2g

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    Detailed hummingbird update:

    For the past few days my hummingbird activity slowed down a lot. They occasionally chased each other and fed at the older feeder, but they weren't competing at the feeder. I was a little concerned, as I wouldn't have thought the loss of one hummer would have made all that much difference in activity level.

    This morning, though, they were having a party again. Two or three of them doing aerial acrobatics and chasing each other from the feeder almost constantly while I was having my coffee on the deck. They are still basically ignoring the new feeder. Since hanging it, I've only seen one feeding at it, at two separate times, and only one at two other separate times buzzing around it but never fed from it. It's not in my view most of the time, but the food level hasn't gone down enough to detect, so I don't think they like it very much. I may take it down and give it to a family member. As they seem to actually enjoy competing for my old feeder, I don't feel too selfish in leaving well-enough alone with the one older plain feeder I can watch from my chair.

    One male ruby-throat is pretty much in charge of that feeder. He sits on a small oak branch tip as his guard post and immediately dives for any other hummer at the feeder. The others trick him by feeding from the back side of the feeder sometimes. I got a picture of him at his guard post, but even zoomed it was too far away.

    I've ordered a small pair of inexpensive Celestron 10x25 binoculars from LL Bean. I had some Bean Bucks so I used them. The little 6x15 thing my daddy gave me works well enough but it has a very narrow field of view, and of course I can only use one eye with it. Binocs would be easier. I couldn't really justify an expensive pair for this as most of the time I won't be using them.

    _____
    A note on "my" departed hummer for those who may want to know:
    I have tried to determine the species and gender, and of course he was a ruby-throated hummer, the only kind that nests in Georgia. In shade their colors appear dark gray or black, but in bright sunlight they really shine. According to what I read, his head was sort of shaped more like a female, but the few dark markings and streaks on his white throat seem to indicate he was an immature male. When I zoom the photo, his beautiful emerald feathers are truly exquisite! Very intricate patterns-- just a spectacular little miracle. I'm almost sure he was "Chirper," as I've heard no chirping at the feeder since then.
    _____


    My newest purchases arrived yesterday and this afternoon. My hummers totally ignored my DIY hummer bath, so I ordered a real one and one of those little solar fountains for it. The fountain arrived yesterday, but my DIY bath was too shallow for it. I removed it and put the fountain in a stainless steel mixing bowl this morning just to make sure it would work. Surprisingly within five minutes, a dove landed on the rail beside it and sat there a good five minutes. He (she?) finally jumped up on the rim and decided the bowl was too small for him to do anything but take a sip. I was very, very still. Had i had my phone close by, I could have taken photos, but I knew if I moved he would fly away. As for the hummers, they are ignoring their new toys so far. :rolleyes:

    I got both items at amazon and they are a little better than I expected. I actually liked a blue spiral bath better, but the reviews said the color faded within a few weeks, so I got the floral one, hoping the hummers would like it better. The little fountain has four different diffusers and will spray water at least a foot into the air when the sun is brightly shining. When it's cloudy it sprays the water intermittently about every second. I need to try all the diffusers, and without one. It's mostly cloudy today but it's still working, just not as strong. I hope the hummers will be curious enough to at least check it out. If larger birds like it, that's great too.

    I would buy another fountain for my regular bird bath in the back yard, but it gets so much tree debris that I think the little pump would quickly get clogged. My new hummer bath is glass with no overhanging trees and I can much more easily keep it clean.

    In true GT fashion, I wiped down the metal parts with a Ballistol-soaked patch hoping to give it a little more temporary protection.

    If I see any hummers taking the plunge, I'll come back and post a photo if I can get one. Dripping or spraying water supposedly attracts them. We'll see.

    New toys:

    Edit for a later photo...

    The sun is out more now and the spray is higher and more constant than before:
    (It got even higher later, to the top of the railing. On a very sunny day, I'll need to top off the water after awhile. Works great!)

    HBB F higher spray.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  3. billorights

    billorights

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    Hummingbirds are very territorial so it is a good idea to put one in different parts of the yard if possible, such as front and back yards. Still, I have witnessed lots of hummer attacks on each other. I too use same hooks as you. Very easy to move around.
     
  4. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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    Well I got out my little pocket Nikon and it has bells and whistles and zoom but it is far from being an actual player in the camera world, still it's better that the iPad mainly for the zoom. I can tho sit in the outdoor recliner and take shots without intimidating them so much. Yes they tolerate me and I have snapped some good photos with my iPad but I'd rather give them their space as much as possible.

    It's like I said tho it's a few steps to get those Nikon photos into this post(Thread). First I had to put the little memory card into my iMac, then import the photos. Make a new album and put photos in that(Not needed but orginized is better). Next, select photo and email it to myself. Open email and select "Save Image" and it goes to my Camera Roll in "Photos" of my iPad.

    So here is my first attempt, I'll add a few more if everything works alright. I did select medium image size when sending the email.

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    Added photos after first experiment worked, maybe 20 minutes later.
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    Well there ya have it. image.jpeg

    The one thing tho, the further out you are with zoom the more the image loses clarity. Later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  5. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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    Just a quick reply. I'm glad things are working out for you, nice birdbath and fountain. I just bought a solar powered, floating fountain/pump and will receive today sometime. I bought from Amazon Prime for just over $17 with tax. It had over 9,000 reviews and averaged 4 stars out of 5. If things don't work(I think it will, but then again, how long?) I'm only out 17 bucks. I never did buy the birdbath for the hummers, great if they use it but I bought for all the other small birds that zip around my patio area starting around 5pm Pac Time. So far only a few small birds have drank from the bath, no bathers yet. If the fountain gets here before 3pm I'll set it up, if not then tomorrow. Later.
     
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  6. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    I've had tanagers use my feeders before. They sure like that sugar water. (Not my photo.)
    Edited to correct spelling of tanager.

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  7. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I'm not a bird expert, but in the winter time I have lots of little birds around the sunflower seeds.
     
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  8. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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  9. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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    Ahhh yes, the feeder debate, to perch or not to perch. I never really heard about it before, then in book I downloaded to Kindle iPad and not my iBook Kindle machine. IPad does better with color photos. I read about the perches on feeders vs. no perches.

    Just my opinion, and now even with a little experience. Feeders with perches are are totally better for two reasons.

    First, they can rest while feeding, and they do just that...if they can. It's hard work protecting your territory from those who would take your energy food. Equally drained from bailing out at warp speed is the hummer that dares to drink at her feeder station, to stay ahead of the hummer protecting her territory.

    Secondly, photographing hummers isn't easy, but it's more difficult to snap a shot when they are moving. Hovering, you have a chance at a shot, flying and chasing you for no shot, and perching, feeding or not, you got a great chance for a shot. Course I am sure that there are some who don't give a hoot about taking pictures, just having them around is enough, nothing wrong with that. image.jpeg

    Later.
     
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  10. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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  11. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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    Well the experiment continues. I decided to get another feeder for three reasons:

    1.) Just in case I break one, I will at least have one feeder going, I don't wanna get dirty looks from the hummers. I can't speak hummerese so I can't tell them I was a dumb klutz and now the cupboards are bare.

    2.) Distance and location. That will kinda be a work in progress, heck I may even hang it somewhere near me, see which hummer has the most gumption.

    3.) Here's where experimenting really comes in. I got yellow petal feeding stations, will they like yellow better, only time will tell. The glass is a larger capacity glass, but it is also fairly blue. Well here is a picture of the one I purchased from Amazon Prime so free delivery(8/18). Total cost including tax $35 image.jpeg

    Well that's it, cya later.
     
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  12. DrewBone

    DrewBone

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    If not mentioned already (I didn't read the entire thread, sorry), in lieu of a plastic water moat to keep ants out of your feeder(s) you can use a barrier of cinnamon oil around whatever you're hanging the feeder on, often found in small tubes along with the other associated hummingbird feeder items at your local or big box home/garden store.
     
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  13. wickedbeernut

    wickedbeernut

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    I'm absolutely sold on ant moats. I would find large black ants in the base of my hummingbird feeders. I haven't found a single ant since installing ant moats.

    My DIY ant moats are made out of copper. They're industrial strength. They're hung using carabiners. We live on a hill and are subject to high winds. I don't want to take the chance of my $30 hand-blown (?) glass feeders blowing off a hook.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    That's a good looking feeder. Like the design of your ant moat.
     
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  15. drumgod

    drumgod

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    I saw a Scarlet Tanager for the first time this spring but that's an Oriole, yes? They try to use my hummingbird feeder in the spring but quickly figure out they can't get much out of the small openings. Next year I may buy an actual Oriole feeder to put on the opposite corner of my bay window.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  16. wickedbeernut

    wickedbeernut

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    I really like the Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders. Outstanding customer service. I included a review in post #25 of this thread if you're interested.

    Thank you. $12 in parts from my local hardware store and a few minutes of my time. Like I said, industrial strength.
     
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  17. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    I've never seen a scarlet tanager in this area. We have the western tanagers. Beautiful birds. They have figured out if they shake my hummer feeders enough, the sugar water level rises enough for them to get a sip.
     
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  18. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    They move so fast, I'm guessing they are hard to get pics?
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  19. drumgod

    drumgod

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    Ah, I see it now. Very similar in appearance. The red head vs. the black is a dead giveaway... You learn something new every day. (lol. I even spelled Oriole incorrectly.)
     
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  20. Lonestar 48

    Lonestar 48 Silver Member

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    Just be aware, it takes about 50 of those little suckers to make a meal!
     
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