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Took The Hummingbird Plunge Today-Help Appreciated(FNG)

  1. Well I been wanting to take the hummingbird plunge for quite awhile and after reading posts on Fullclip's "Stupid..." Thread I did just that. So I will be brand new to actually trying to feed those fantastic flyers and I will appreciate all the help I can get.

    So here's the field of operation. image.jpeg

    Now for the equipment(Already purchased on Amazon).

    Well I looked a long time and decided on this one for around $27. It had a lot of great reviews and I sure liked the color. However, like my mom used to say, "The proof is in the pudding".

    Since I wasn't really sure about hanging the feeder in the little tree, I bought a Sheppard's Hook image.jpeg it is 65" inches tops with 4 adjustable heights.

    Finally, something I almost bought many times just to use on it's own, but now it will be an add on to the above. image.jpeg

    The one I got is the same color and size but no little holes on the circle and mine also has kind of ripples. Water or sand can be put into the stem for stabilizing.

    What the heck, I'm retired and I just love hummingbirds, not just for their flying acrobatics but their being such gutsy little critters, their curiosity almost matches their appetites.

    I should be receiving all of the above in the first week of August. Cya all later.
  2. I recommend making the food yourself, I do about 1/3 cup of white sugar to two cups of hot water to dissolve it. Let it cool, fill the feeder and let it rip. Depending on where you live, you don't want to feed too late in the year as it can delay migration.
    If you mix too much sugar in, your feed will grow bacteria that isn't good for the little fellas.
    You are gonna love it once you're up and running, those guys are fascinating to watch performing aerial stunts.
    The ones that frequent my feeder make all sorts of noise if someone is too close to the feeder and they are hungry, insistent little buggers
  3. Well thanks. I live about 25 miles south of San Francisco. The weather is better, temps higher and hardly any fog, some of the best weather in the country year round. image.jpeg
    I live not far from this city. I think a lot of the hummingbirds stick around for the year but I'm not sure. September thru October temps get really high 90-100 plus.

    White sugar, you do mean regular granulated sugar right? Thanks for your help.
  4. I'm feeding 6 cups of sugar water mix a day in two feeders. A friend of mine says he is feeding almost a gallon a day in four big feeders.

    I use 1/4 cup sugar to one cup boiled, mixed while hot, and then cooled water.

    I keep feeding until they stop eating. The ones who haven't left, are too old or sick to make the journey. So I might as well feed them until they die.

    Also late comers from further up north, can use a refueling stop on the way south.
  5. I went out to fill a traveling friend's bird feeders. I didn't know they had hummingbird feeders up. A Lady Rubythroat flew in my face and said "What about us?" So I mixed up some solution and filled it, too.
  6. Yes, regular granulated white sugar. Doesn't matter if it's Dominoes, or the local off brand. Always Save, Great Value, or what ever brand your store carries. White sugar, is sugar.

    Just be sure to boil the water a few minutes and keep things clean. Nasty stuff can build up inside the feeders if not kept clean.

    And if the mix isn't used up in two or three days (depending on local temperature), change it out for new fresh nectar.
  7. We planted a bunch of these and have a few in pots.
    Hummers love 'em.
    They call 'em Cigar Plants.
  8. Been feeding these guys for years, only seen one this year such a bummer not sure why.

    Here's a few things I've learned.

    Keep their feeders away from other bird feeders you may have. Too much activity and they may not come very often.

    Change their food often. Like every 2-3 days, in hot climates sugar water goes bad quick. You don't need to fill the feeder all the way, just a few inches is good depending on how many you get. If your feeders are very active this may not be an issue.

    Get an anti ant water cup to hang the feeder with, it will keep them out.

    As for the food, I just use granulated table sugar, it doesn't matter cane or beet is fine.

    The correct solution is 20% sugar by volume which matches their favorite flowers. So it's 4 parts water and 1 part sugar. You don't need to boil it, the sugar just needs to dissolve completely. I do 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar in a pot on the stove.

    Dissolve it and then add 2 more cups ice cold water and stir. It cools the mixture down quickly so you can stick it in the fridge.

    Enjoy. You can actually hand feed them sometimes just put some nectar in your hand and hold it out.
  9. Echo most of the above. They are amazing little creatures. Territorial as all get out too.
    One thing about the shepherds hook, if you have raccoons they will either crawl up what’s next to it to get the nectar, or shake the living hell out of it until the feeder falls on the ground and they get it.
  10. That's for sure. They spend more time chasing away others than feeding. :D
  11. My feeders are clear plastic. I've always added red food coloring but some folks say this is bad. I thought food coloring was harmless.
    Hummingbirds are very territorial and can viscous defending their claimed feeder.
    ETA: Some folks don't know that the hummer's main diet is insects. The sugar water just gives them the energy to go bug hunting.
  12. Well that Nickname certainly fits.
  13. I live in the East Bay, Pleasant Hill to be exact. There are year round hummingbirds in the Bay, so feed accordingly! And yes I meant table sugar as already stated.
    Btw there is a less common species that lives in the red wood areas, my dad (an avid birder) has gone a few times to check them out during his visits.
  14. Instead of dying your food, just get a red feeder. I don't know for sure one way or the other as far as toxicity, but I do know hummingbirds would never encounter dye on their own.
  15. I bought a couple of flag pole holders. Then two 10 foot pieces of one inch conduit. I put a wire hook on the end of the conduit. I hang the ant trap and the feeder on the hook at the end of the conduit.

    The flag pole holders are screwed on to my deck about 8 feet off the ground. I extend the conduit and feeder out, and place the end of the conduit into the flag holder.

    We have plenty of raccoons around here. But I've never had one get into a bird, or hummingbird feeder yet.
  16. I wasn't going to dye my hummingbird food, were you referring to someone else? Look at the feeder I got, a glass one totally covered in red, yellow, and blue. When they come, and they will, least a couple that I know hang out in the above area maybe an hour or so before the sun goes down. If two hummers get by each other and they don't buzz the other out at warp speed, then for sure one of them is female, then they kinda hang out.
  17. Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to another post. Your feeder looks good to go.
    Witnessing those jousting matches is just plain cool!
  18. Nice looking feeders it’s fun watching them good luck with it. Back at my old art studio I had a few that would hang out and I’d see them everyday coming to steal little pieces of fiber insulation from the top of my ceramic kiln they would use to build nests, one day I got lucky and spotted where they had built one in the light fixture hanging in the back yard gazebo it’s made from kiln fiber and other bits with a little feather door, I guess the kiln fiber makes a warm cozy nest.
  19. I mix my sugar water strong, and the birds love it. (about 4 cups sugar to 7 or 8 cups water.

    You've missed the "hatch" when the young ones come out of the nest and all the sudden you have 3 or 4 times the birds at the feeders. (at least around here with the ruby-throated vultures)

    But like others have said, keep the feeders clean and don't let the juice sit there more than a few days.

    When re-filling my feeders, I rinse them out real good with hot water, but every few days I soak them for 10 minutes in a dilute bleach water solution (bottle and feeding tubes). I also remove the bee-guards and scrub those out.

    Be patient, they may take a while to find it.
  20. Funny story;

    At uncle & aunt's home, out in the woods, in Michigan. They're into birds and have a humming bird feeder that's on a pole tall enough to rise above their deck, as the land behind the house where their deck is slopes steeply away.

    So the feeder is on a tall pole, and it's a big feeder, kinda heavy.

    We're all drinking as the sun sets, out on the deck. My aunt and cousin, both as drunk as any of us, decide it's time to fill the feeder. My uncle and I are sitting watching, and my uncle mentions that thing is heavier than it looks, and he thinks his wife & son don't realize it.

    Well....the pole raises up slightly, and then the whole shootin' match goes crashing to the ground. Many yellings, several guffaws, and a new bird feeder is purchased the next day.:animlol::animlol:

  21. Oh, goodness, I love that feeder and everything else! Mine is a plain-Jane clear plastic one with a red base. It holds about a quart and my hummers are now going through that much every week or so. I know I have at least three. They love sparring with each other, and you are right about them being gutsy. When I'm reading on my deck sometimes they will buzz around my head. I tell myself they're just saying hello but they may be saying something else entirely.

    The standard ratio of plain white granulated sugar to boiled water is 1:4, which I use, but FullClip gives his the strong stuff and they seem to do fine with it. (Well, actually they are apparently addicted! LOL) Boiling kills germs and also gets rid of any chlorine in the water. I mix my sugar in while the water is coming to a boil, and then I just let it sit to cool. I only mix a quart at a time, but could do more and put it in the refrigerator.

    I haven't had to change the food every few days, but I thoroughly clean the feeder every time I refill it. Mine is not in direct sun which probably helps it not go bad as quickly. Mine hangs from my wide soffit just past the railing on my back deck. I can see it through the glass doors from my chair.

    I may have to order one like yours, though. It is gorgeous!

    Hopefully your birds will find it quickly. Sometimes patience is needed at first. Mine seem to return year after year. Like Caver, I keep food out until they stop eating in the fall.

    The birds will enjoy the bird bath, too. I love watching all "my" birds. If you have regular bird feeders, I've found that squirrels don't like safflower seeds. I like squirrels too but don't want to encourage them to get in my attic again.

    I love your whole set-up. :hearts: Lucky little fellas there!
  22. For the Ruby throated ones, the adult male has a red throat. The female is plane Jane. And the male will be the one chasing the other birds away, most of the time.

    You've got a lot more than three. I've heard that 10 birds will go through 3 ounces a day.

    I found this on the net.

    Q. How can I estimate how many hummingbirds I feed each day?

    A. Hummingbird experts Nancy Newfield and Bob and Martha Sargent came up with a formula whereby you count the number of hummingbirds you see at one time at your feeders and multiply this number by six to determine how many birds are visiting your feeders. They arrived at this number based on years of banding and color-marking hummingbirds at feeders.
  23. Sad hummingbird story.
    I was sitting on my gunsmith's porch (You are expected to hang around and gossip for a while after a job.) watching his flock of hummingbirds, drinking at the feeders or just perching on skinny twigs.
    Across the road, a hawk sat on a telephone wire and watched the hummingbirds. Then he started to sidle down the wire, one talon at a time until he was directly opposite the favored perch branch. About three flaps and a long glide - POW, a shower of little green feathers and he returned to the telephone pole with his snack.
  24. My wife makes the food for ours, we have about 12 feeders all on the same style poles you posted, except ours have double hooks. our cat loves laying by the window watching them. they will crash into the windows from time time lol!! I set my GoPro up out on one of the feeders one day and got some pretty cool up close video of them.

    We have six Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders (purchased from Amazon),

    (2) Blue Egg with Flowers (36 oz)
    (1) Large Red Egg with Flowers (36 oz)
    (1) Red Speckled Mushroom (26 oz)
    (1) Red and Orange Mushroom (32 oz) ... pictured below
    (1) Fiery Bell Tower (20 oz)

    There are typically (on average) five hummingbirds at each feeder starting in mid-July.


    The quality of the Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders is excellent. The colors are vibrant. The glass is thick. The overall design is simple, yet effective. The red flower petals around each feeder port will fade, however, the hummingbirds are drawn to the colorful glass bulb, not the flower petals.


    These feeders may be considered "hand blown", however, I'm sure they're blown into a mold. The seam is visible. Don't expect to receive a seamless, mouth-blown glass bulb like you’d see at an arts and crafts fair. This doesn’t take away from the overall beauty of the Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders. The mold is used to ensure uniformity, especially with respect to the glass threads. It’s my understanding glass can be blown into a mold and still be considered “hand blown”, so I’ll give Grateful Gnome the benefit of the doubt with respect to their product description. Just set your expectations accordingly.


    I have to fill all six feeders every day. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SIGNING UP FOR WHEN YOU BUY A HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER! I'd recommend buying the larger (in terms of volume) Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders. Obviously, this way you'll have to fill the feeders less often.


    I prepare the hummingbird nectar in a pair of 2 L (2000 mL) Pyrex Erlenmeyer flasks. I heat 1800 mL of filtered (reverse-osmosis) water to a near-boil (190oF ... I actually use a digital thermometer with an alarm). I add 450 mL of white cane sugar to each flask using a wide-mouth "spice" funnel. THE SUGAR MUST BE ADDED TO THE HOT WATER VERY SLOWLY AT FIRST AS THE WATER MAY BEGIN TO BOIL VIOLENTLY AND THERE’S VERY LITTLE HEAD SPACE IN THE FLASKS. I stir each flask with a wooden spoon to completely dissolve the sugar and allow them to cool. Once cool, I add a rubber stopper to each flask. The following morning, I disassemble, clean and fill all six feeders and prepare 4 L of nectar for the next day. I like preparing, storing and dispensing the nectar in the same container. The Pyrex flasks are easy to clean. Note: I store the flasks at room temperature since in my case, it’s only for one day. Nectar can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a week.


    There will be a wasp on the perch / base from time to time. However, the wasps don’t seem to enter the base through the feeding ports. Initially, I would find HUGE ants in the base of the feeders. However, I made “ant moats” using 1-1/2” copper pipe caps and haven't seen an ant since.


    Overall, I’m thrilled with my Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders. The Grateful Gnome customer service is outstanding.

  26. Wow, great story. Drunk and feeding animals is not a smart thing to do. It was late fall 1966 and I was staying at some friends of parents(Still living in Rockford, Illinois) in Escondido, California, I was 16. The people who I was staying with had a son who went to radio school with my brother(4 years older than me) they were cool parents(my guardians temporarily as I stayed with them) and they let all their son's USMC buddies hang out and sleep over if they wanted, even a small trailor was their. One of them was back from Vietnam and recovering from a shrapnel wound in the arm. My brother was back as well and a maybe two others.

    That info kinda needed info to set the story up. The house had a coral down a kinda steep incline maybe 100 yards or so thru a lot of avacado trees. In the coral there were two horses Nickel and Penny. Nickel was my brother's he had bought before going to Vietnam.

    Well all of us were drinking wine and feeling pretty good. My brother decides he want's to take a 100 bag of feed down to the coral. Normally you put that 100 Lb. bag in a wheelbarrel and run it down, or you could slap that bag over your shoulder and run it down....but not in the dark.

    So my brother decides to drive on a little dirt road that's kinda at the side of the grove. I think he was driving a Plymouth Valiant. So he gets stuck as the little dirt road was muddy in places. We all went down to try to get that car out, pushing with the mud over our ankles. That didn't work so a pick-up truck was driven down and that got stuck as well. Everyone was drunk and laughing and totally covered in mud including yours truly. The wounded Marine even drove his 1963 Corvette convertible down, why beacuse he was drunk, he got stuck too. 3 vehicles got stuck in the mud and none retrieved that night. The horses got their 100 pound bag of feed which they didn't need yet.

    We all walked back up that hill tired and muddy, went back in the house and started drinking again and laughing a whole lot. The next day a super wrecker/tow came out to the place and pulled out those vehicles out. What a night, never to be forgotten. Thanks for triggering that memory. Later.
  27. We had a similarly opportunistic hawk, a Cooper's I think or a juvenile redtail, but his target was the flock of mourning doves that frequent the regular feeder. He flushed them up and one knocked itself out hitting the house. Quick as a wink the hawk snagged him and absconded over the fence to feast in the neighbors yard.
  28. Don't use that red "nectar" crap they sell for hummers. It's bad for the birds and they couldn't care less what color the sugar water is anyway.
    And as previously stated, the 1/4 ratio of quarter cup sugar to one cup of water is correct.
  29. My wife bought a feeder and some liquid that was highly recommended from our local farm co-op... Those little mini-rockets love it and are so cool to watch.. use the right stuff and they’ll find it....good luck OP....
  30. Well living up the steep hill at the end of a dead end circle has some advantages like no rats and no flys. No mosquitos either for that matter, I haven't been bitten in decades. However I think we have some raccoons, but I haven't seen any in quite awhile. Over 15 years ago, I either woke up to pee or I heard somethin' out my bedroom window. I looked out and maybe 4 feet away, atop a wooden fence and at eye level there was mom raccoon with three youngins tagging along behind her. She looked me square in the eye for a moment and then just moved on, probably thinking no threat but no food. I'm not really worried about the feeder but I will have to keep an eye on the birdbath.

    I'm already thinking ahead about the birdbath and the possibility of raccoons checking the bath out. The stem of the bath can be filled with water, but I might not use that option, least to begin with. If raccoons come to check out the bath(without extra water weight) they'll easily knock it over, then I'll know they are around. I also might make the soil around the base clear of debris, maybe add a little water and smooth out so I can see tracks. I'll get the feeder and the Steel Shep tomorrow. If they come early I may try to set up shop tomorrow, but it will have to be before 1:00pm. Later.
  31. Put a couple stakes in the ground to secure the birdbath. It helps.
  32. Thanks, but first I wanna leave the bath with no stabilizing factor like filling the stem with water. I don't think the wind will knock it over, so it's down to earthquakes or raccoons. If it's the former, I could have more to worry about then raccoons. I think the bath does come with stakes but not for sure. Bath won't arrive till maybe 10-13 of August. Gives me time to work out stuff with the feeder. If I can find a branch that will safely support a 20oz to 23oz feeder than I'll choose that, but my bet in Vegas is the Shep, the tree is still quite young. Thanks for your input.
  33. A little bit of food coloring is good so you don’t see it in the sink and forget what it is and pour it down the drain. [emoji846]

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  34. Way back when I first started feeding hummers, I thought adding a little honey to the sugar water would be a treat for them. Not good for them at all. Only did it once and then checked on the web and found out it was a bad thing to do.
  35. Well I may experiment a little with the ratio from regular to full(Clip) ratio, but that's it. Even if the hummers beg for Cheetos and PBR I won't give that stuff to them. Maybe some Wrigley's "Juicy Fruit" gum...JK.
  36. Well I got the feeder and the Shep. Feeder seems very nice and well built, but no instructions whatsoever. I would have expected at least simple instructions of putting it together properly but I got it. It has a string and this image.jpeg
    which I think is a little ant moat, but I don't get the string part, but like hey, I'll just "String Along"(I couldn't resist). I'm now going to boil water in micro and then do the ratio thing with the sugar. I'm going to try just hanging it on the tree first. I scouted the tree branches to see if any candidates from the young tree. If not I have lubricated the threads and assembled the Shep for Plan B.
  37. Well that's the formula that I will start out with. 2 cups H2O with just a tad over 1/3 cup of sugar. I just boiled 2 cups in micro, then slowly added the sugar, pour some, stir some and mixed thoroughly, then I put the mixture in the freezer to quickly chill it. I'm trying hard to make sure all is a go before it's 5:00pm, it's 3:43pm now. Usually the little guys start coming around between 6 to 7pm or so. If they are filling up when I'm gonna start my grill to make burnt dogs, I might go to Plan B and do micro-dogs. Put hotdog in bun, wrap in paper towel and then about 15 seconds a side. Later.
  38. For years photographing hummingbirds was my thing.
  39. You’ll want to lightly coat the inside of the ant moat with vegetable oil. I use a Q-tip.
  40. You can put a feeder on each side of a large yard and they will fly back and forth doing their territorial thing. #9 skeet loads will work.
    Ya'll know I'm kidding>>>>>>>>>>:cheers:

    I think this is the first year I can remember when my wife didn't have a feeder up...Hummingbird that is. I buy black oil sunflower seed pretty regularly for the other bird feeders.
  41. I buy sunflower seeds for the Eurasian doves that come to feed. They have totally displaced the mourning and white wing dove that used to come. The skunks eat up any leftover sunflower seeds.
  42. Well we have a go on the little tree, the little branch will support the feeder. It's maybe half full but that's ok, I like the 2 cups to 1/3 ratio even if it doesn't fill it up. I'll be changing every couple days anyway so the liquid can't get bad. I used two Pyrex like this one. image.jpeg

    Feeder close up maybe a foot away image.jpeg

    Couple yards away image.jpeg

    These above and below taken close to my backdoor

    When inside my backdoor I'll use these, a perfect use for them and they are "Image Stabilizing"(Uses Battery). 15x50 image.jpeg

    Well let's just say the feeder went in operation around 4:15pm. Will any show up and use it later this afternoon or early evening? My bet in Vegas is yes, but it's a close bet. Am I excited, well let me speak Minnesotan, "Ya ya you betcha". Later.
  43. They come to my feeders at all daylight hours. Those bright colors should draw them in quick. Good luck.
  44. Well ok, just as long as you keep the Methodists out(Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles"). It's ok, I was brought up Methodist.
  45. I bought a feeder a few months back for fun. We have a patio home with a crepe myrtle and everything else is potted plants. With a gift card, I bought one for $0.57. After we put it up in the one small tree, a hummingbird family built a nest just above it. We have really enjoyed the activity.
  46. +1

    We have six feeders, each with five feeding ports. We're in the midst of monsoon season. We have thunderstorms every afternoon. When the hummingbirds sense the impending storm, we have one hummingbird at each port and five more hummingbirds swarming around each feeder waiting to feed. It's a wild, feeding frenzy.
  47. Feeders image.jpeg have a big advantage over flowers, they are open all the time, course I don't think hummers be cruising at night, nope, home bagging Mrs. Hummer.
  48. Well I thought I'd add this little gem I found while gathering info, it's pretty cool.

  49. Well to be honest I didn't think about this till after purchase and receiving the feeder, but it's USMC "Colors" all right. image.jpeg

    Maybe I'll call it "Humm's Tavern" EST. 8/1/2020.
  50. Well check this out, I found this when searching hummers bathing image.gif
    look real close now. Apparently the dog somehow saved the hummer's life, least that's what is said below the picture(gif).