The Hummie Wars
Chris Fedderson — MacroFine Musings
Kathy Lawler — Guest Blogger
In May of last year, Kathy wrote a guest blog titled Hummingbirds, Butterflies, & Bees . . . Oh My!, [scroll down a bit] about attracting these, and other friends, to your garden. That blog concentrated on bees and butterflies. So now she’s following up with another Guest Blog about Hummingbirds . . .
We have Ruby-Throated hummingbirds in Northern Virginia where we live. They’re golden green on their backs and crowns with gray-white under parts. They stop by on their way to South America, and will be gone by early fall. We spent many evenings last summer on the deck watching then whiz and dart around and did miss them when they moved on. But we’re looking forward to hosting them again this spring and summer.
When we added a hummingbird feeder to our yard last year we figured we’d enjoy watching the Hummies use their new feeder. We thought we’d see them clustered around, taking turns feeding. Oh, Nooooo…We didn’t realize the little Hummies were quite so territorial! We had three or four that seem to be constantly fighting over the feeder. We had the Hummie Wars going on every evening with the birds chasing each other around, trying to lay claim to the feeder. This year we will certainly avoid the fuss by having more feeders.
Oh, and for those of you wondering if Chris got any good photos… well... he did get some shots... but they all look like:
Unlike when we decided to build the birdbath for the yard, we did a little research with this project. We really looked around at hummingbird feeders — all the different shapes, configurations, and colors. And we read several sources to find out what parameters are important to Hummies; what they like and don’t like.
There are several blogs to read about choosing a hummingbird feeder, often with varying opinions, and lists of what you may want to consider. Here were some of our top items to consider:
Here are some additional tips:
And, as it turns out, not only will your Hummies provide hours of circus-like amusement each evening, they are also great pollinators, servicing plants probably overlooked by insects. According to the Galveston County Master Gardeners’ web site:
“Considering insects use scent, and birds use sight, hummingbird flowers usually have little or no fragrance. ... Hummingbirds are important pollinators, for when they feed their forehead rubs against the stamens and pistils collecting pollen. They then move from flower to flower, pollinating as they go.”
So get those feeders going! Get your lawn chairs stationed! Position your beverage holders just right! And prepare to be entertained while you’re also helping with Global Pollination! . . . or at least Neighborhood Pollination. [give yourself a big smiley face emoticon here!]
Thank You for visiting,
—Kathy Lawler, Guest Blogger
I am a Virginia-based photographer and gather my images while hiking in parks and natural areas here at home and in the locations I travel to. I also love to visit arboretums and botanic gardens to find unusual and exotic subjects.