Today is Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hummers and More

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Where, oh where have the Hummingbirds gone? I have answered that question over and over this spring and now even through the start of summer. At my home, there hasn't been any shortage of Hummingbird at my feeders. It has been a wet start of the year with plenty of flowering plants for their natural selection of nectar. Just about every morning as I prepare my breakfast, I have a visitor right outside my kitchen window, looking at me looking at her. As we get further into the summer months, late August to be precise, you should see a plethora of Hummers making their way south. Anthony Gray loves that word, "plethora." That's for you, Bubba!

I have several readers asking what kind of bird would be eating, or drinking from their Hummingbird feeder? After some description from them, it could be one of many different species. Water is a necessity for all of us on the earth to be able to survive. Some animals or insects can get it in other ways beside drinking. Baby birds can receive this in a second hand way by consuming bugs that contain liquids to start with. The addition of sugar in the water can give animals a boost in their energy, just like loading up your grandchildren with candy just before letting the parents take them home. I am not suggesting that you do that, but I have heard of people who have.

One species of birds that are known to drink Hummer nectar is a Downy Woodpecker. Many people have enlightened me on this subject. Anthony Gray has a pair that will drink from the so to speak, soda fountain. My mother, Margie Pope has a pair of Downys that come regularly to her feeders. She lives maybe three hundred feet from Anthony, as the crow flies and they could be sharing the same Woodpecker family.

Another bird that has been mentioned is the House Finch. There is probably close to twenty-five that claim my property as their own. Sometimes, looking out my kitchen window, I will see one of the females taking a good long drink of the sugary treat. Some of my friends at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center have also described the House Finch and woodpeckers drinking from their feeders, but no Hummingbirds.

As I have mentioned before, we have had an unusually wet spring and start of summer. We are, right now, in a dry period and you should see more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds taking advantage of what you put out for them. I have also been asked again to give the formula for Hummer juice. It is one part granulated sugar to four parts hot water, so the sugar will dissolve, and let it cool before placing it out. Please do not add any color of food coloring to your nectar.

I have been receiving some great pictures from my good friend Kelly Townes Hall and her daughter Abigail. After showing me a picture of a huge Rat Snake coming out of a bird nesting box, I was much relieved when her family of Bluebirds hatched and fledged before becoming the next meal. Kelly places out meal worms for the Bluebirds which just happens to be their favorite food. Check out this photo of her Bluebirds, with one seemingly defying the laws of gravity.

Anyone that might have missed me talking about Anthony in this weeks article, well there is a simple explanation for his absence. He and his wife Linda Gray spent the weekend in Gatlinburg celebrating their one year anniversary. I tried to talk him into letting me go with them, but he said a big fat NO!. Linda and Bubba, Happy anniversary to you both.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood or at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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