This past week has been a busy one. We have been watching our Cardinals (St. Louis) play a lot of good ball. The last game we attended, Duane made ESPN TV. We enjoy those Cardinals and have been there a lot this season. Now we are watching from our air conditioned living room. It has been a hot one. This last game it was hovering around 90 at game time, and was very humid. However, we felt Adam Wainwright pitched a great game. Worth watching for sure.
I have also been watching my few last hummingbirds. This week they have been extremely busy at the feeders, passing through eating all they can to keep their energy up. Depending on where you live, you may notice the number of hummingbirds at your feeders and in your gardens increases as summer turns to fall. That’s a sure sign that migration is hitting its stride. If you live near the middle of the migration route, you will likely be blessed with dozens or more of hummers. These visitors will create a constant hum in your yard as they single-mindedly fuel up for the next leg of the trip. During fall migration, hummingbird populations can build to astonishing numbers.
You should be thinking of next spring around May 1, when you will be seeing them all head back north. There are many flowers that you can plant to attract them to your yard and garden area. Butterfly bushes, Blue perennial salvia, Lady in Red Texas Sage, several kinds of Lilies, impatiens, petunias in bright colors, Bee balm, Cardinal flower, trumpet-vine, columbines and more.
If your feeders run dry, the birds may remind you by hovering outside a window or near the feeder when you go outside. You can easily train hummingbirds to drink nectar from a small bottle such as a test tube or small feeder from Dollar General in your hand. They will also fearlessly sip from a flower if you hold one out to them. Once they learn to accept food from you, you can get them to sip nectar from the palm of your hand. I held a feeder early this spring, and my nephew took a picture as one was eating on the feeder while I held it.
I usually recommend May 1 and October 1 for the time span for feeding them. You may see a straggler after October 1, especially if the weather is sill suitable. They are a lot of fun to watch. I hate to see them go, but start thinking about May 1, and what flowers to attract them, finding a couple of new feeders, and soon it will be time again. I don’t recommend anything fancy as far as feeders. I would recommend the ones from Walmart, that possibly have a built-in moat. I would also recommend a moat to keep ants away. However this year the Terro packs worked well for me. Until next time, good bird watching.