Wednesday, August 1, 2007
It's hard to get a good picture of the hummingbirds. They're very skittish and fly away when I go out into the yard. When they come back to the feeders, they fly around so fast, only stopping briefly to drink. At the height of the feeding frenzy, there's a hummingbird on each of the 16 perches with more birds hovering around impatiently, sometimes chasing the other birds away from the feeders.
We had to put up the third feeder, "the big one," on Sunday. Before that, even with two feeders, the small one would be emptied in 12 hours or less. We're going through a lot of sugar! We don't buy the commercial hummingbird nectar; we make our own. Fill the feeder one-third full with sugar, then fill with hot tap water, shake until the sugar is dissolved, then hang. The birds seem to really love it when it's fresh and hot. Kind of like Krispy Kreme doughnuts; they're best when they're freshly made and hot.
We get a swarm of hummingbirds like this every summer. It starts out in late April with one or two birds, then four or five, and by mid to late July, there are too many to count. It will be like this for two or three weeks, and then gradually, one by one, they'll head south. By the end of August or beginning of September, when the nights are chilly and almost down to freezing, there are one or two hangers-on, and eventually they'll leave, too. Then we take the feeders down, clean them out, and put them away until next April.