Birds and Bees

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by CoolWife, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    But literally.

    D just informed me that he sees hummingbirds at least a couple times every morning come for the hosta outside the office window. !!! I was pining over a feeder and birbs of my own but now that I know they're around here I neeed one.

    Recs for a hummingbird feeder? Should I just get a cheapo plastic one, or a pretty glass one? I'm definitely putting it outside the dining room (my office). Etsy has some cutesy ones that go on the window, but I know myself and it has to hold enough that I can fill it not more often than once every day or two. I have a couple shepherd's hooks that are a little weak for a hanging basket but I think would hold a feeder.

    If I put it outside "my" window I wonder if they'll find it. It's across the walk from anything flowering now, and behind a tiny magnolia tree (and ugly boxwood hedge that won't stay for long).

    I also suddenly feel guilty about not even starting my lantana seeds this year.
     
  2. Zombie Llama

    Zombie Llama Ain't no corn bitch

    Inspired by my neighbor, I just recently added a hummingbird feeder to our backyard. He has a cheap plastic one and I have a pretty glass one. The hummers love both, so it's up to you.

    Mine is fairly small and the hummers drink from it constantly, but it lasts a long time (way longer than is acceptable between changing out the sugar water) so don't worry about size at all.

    My neighbor's is bright red and out in the open, while mine is green with red ports and hidden under my Datura tree. So I think they will find it. I actually think the hummers have started using mine more - maybe they feel more protected.

    Also, I highly recommend hanging it with an ant mote. My first feeder was a staked one and the ants found it in a day. I've had my hanging one out for a week now and no ants.
     
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  3. Zombie Llama

    Zombie Llama Ain't no corn bitch

  4. Zombie Llama

    Zombie Llama Ain't no corn bitch

    And here's my feeder. It fits a little over half a cup.

    IMG_1745_copy_2592x1728.jpg
     
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  5. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    My feeders are just cheap plastic ones, and the hummingbirds at our Hayward place love them. So far here in Fresno, one has found us, but he's a regular. As long as you have something red on it, the feeder will attract their attention eventually. Except don't add red dye to the sugar water.
     
  6. RogueLlama

    RogueLlama Chicken

    We have cheap plastic hummingbird feeders and they work great. My father is very into his hummingbirds and makes his own sugar water for them. We buy our hummingbird water and it works just fine. We have a window one and they don’t love it. I think seeing me and the giant dog isn’t something they want to eat near.
     
  7. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    My 2 cents on hummingbird feeders:
    - You have to be anal about keeping them clean, as they can harbor fungus and bacteria that can be harmful to hummingbirds. Wild Birds Unlimited and a few other places do sell preservatives that you can put in the feeder to reduce that issue, but keeping it clean and changing the feed often, especially during hot weather, is crucial.
    - Given the choice, they do tend to prefer flowers. Nurseries often have sections for hummingbird/butterfly plants, or they’ll at least have recommendations
    - Material doesn’t really matter as
    much as a design. An ant moat is preferable. It’s good to go with something that’s easy to clean, too.

    This was recommended at my Wild Birds Unlimited
    https://order.wbu.com/shop/bird-feeders/hummingbird-feeders/small-high-perch-hummingbird-feeder
     
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  8. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    Ooo I have a bigger version of that @Afishwish ! I love it for being able to see the most at one time. Have you ever used the preservative or know someone who has? Mine turns hazy inside of a day it feels like here. I've sanitized the feeder so many times and have now moved to boiling the water and sugar water.
     
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  9. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    I will plant more flowers, the landscaping is a major work in progress. I just want birb friends.
     
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  10. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    @Lh718 I haven’t, but the folks at my Wild Birds Unlimited swear by it. The staff at mine tend to be pretty knowledgeable and like birds much more than they like people, so I take their word for it. Also, since you’re in California, hummingbirds LOVE sages. Hot lips salvia, Mexican sage, and Cleveland sage are a few we had in CA that did well and always attracted them.
     
  11. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    Alas my little side yard here doesn't get enough sun for sage. Probably. I'll try a hanging basket and see if that's enough. I tried one on our patio in Hayward, ut even having afternoon sun wasn't enough.
     
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  12. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    Just wanted to say that this thread makes me happy. Carry on.
     
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  13. Zombie Llama

    Zombie Llama Ain't no corn bitch

    I just posted a short video to my IG if you want to see one of our female Annas.
     
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  14. hellohelloagain

    hellohelloagain Chicken

    We have some hummingbirds in our complex but they don't seem to venture to my apartment I think because our building is so close to the road.

    We do get a LOT of robins and something we learned is called a Stellers Jay. I would like to put out a feeder for them but we also have a ton of squirrels I assume would steal it.
     
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  15. Zombie Llama

    Zombie Llama Ain't no corn bitch

    Steller's Jays are gorgeous!
     
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  16. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    I feed them. They’re awesome but ungrateful bastards. When they see me they shriek at me until I feed them. When I sleep in, rooster‘s usually downstairs but can tell when I’m up because like magic the jays appear.

    Peanuts are jay (and crow) crack; if you do decide to feed them at any point, give them shelled peanuts, because anything in shell gets cached (that...caused problems in my neighborhood). I have a suet feeder I fill with hot pepper seed cakes and hot pepper suet which they will eat. Squirrels will still steal those, but they have to build up spice tolerance for a few days and thus it lasts longer than non-spicy stuff.
     
  17. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    Btw, if you guys are new to bird identification, Cornell’s birding app Merlin Bird ID is great. You put in the bird’s size, basic colors, where you saw it, and it gives you photo choices of what it could be. It’s a really nice starting point, and has a very intuitive interface. Iirc its also free.

    If you’re a little more experienced, the Peterson Birding app is wonderful as well.
     
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  18. hellohelloagain

    hellohelloagain Chicken

    That's the other thing, the crows! I appreciate how intelligent they are, but I'm still upset with them for killing that baby bird the other day so I don't want to feed them lol
     
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  19. Tumnus

    Tumnus Chicken

    I <3 this thread.

    @Afishwish do you have recs on an app to learn bird calls and songs?
     
  20. MagnificentCat

    MagnificentCat Chicken

    This is really wanting me to get a bird feeder. Probably in the front yard as the dog would lose her mind looking into the backyard seeing birds on her turf.
     
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  21. Tumnus

    Tumnus Chicken

    If you can go out with a birdwatching group postpandemic I recommend it! I took a biology class with a birdwatching component once and it was a lot of fun. S is not bored of my bird facts yet lol.
     
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  22. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    Ordered the preservative for my feeder. I'll try it out and report back soon.
     
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  23. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    Idk of any where you can reverse ID based on call, but the Peterson app definitely has recordings of birds, Merlin probably does as well since bird call databases usually are from Cornell.
     
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