Tag Archives: Hummingbirds

Flower in my weed patch

Little Bluestem grass photo @ Wikipedia.
This is year 3 on my go native project. So far it seems to be working out fairly well. During spring and summer I see a lot of Hummingbirds, bees, wasp and butterfly’s visiting the flowers and in the fall and winter I have a lot of cardinals”red birds’, doves, quail, finches and wrens that take advantage of flower and grass seed that remained after frost.

I have an area that covers about 10,000 square feet on the north side of my house/yard that I am allowing to reestablish it’s self in ‘mostly’ little bluestem, native grasses, wildflowers and a lot of just common weeds. It is a no mow area. Last fall I over seeded that area with some purple cone flower and Mexican hat flower seeds, but truth be know I really don’t know how much of that seed actually came into direct contact with bare soil or how much germinated. I will have a better idea later this summer when the flowers have had time to out grow the grass so I can get a idea what I should do this fall in my over seeding project.

I have another space only about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long on the west side of my chicken pen that I will over seed with purple cone flower and what the seed seller is calling ‘Long Headed Coneflower’ just before our next rain storm is forecast to pass over my tiny spot of Southwest Oklahoma.
FYI – Long Headed Coneflower, to me looks just like Mexican hat but with all the flower peddles colored yellow.

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Spring prepping for summer wildlife viewing

Hummingbirds will soon be returning to my tiny garden. Black-chinned and Ruby-throat hummingbirds have been sighted by bird spotters not more than 50 or 75 miles south of my tiny garden. 2019 spring hummingbird migration map

Today is forecast to be around 70%F, so, I’m making up a batch of sugar water and sterilizing hummingbird feeders. I want to be sure when birds arrive I have food out for them. After their long migration flights from central Mexico they will be tired and hungry in need of a high sugar, high energy food source.

The worst thing that can happen is I will need to dump and putout fresh food in 3 – 5 days should the birds fail to arrive this week.

FYI- To make your own sugar water, use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. 1 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water with 1/2 cup sugar, anyway your get it 4 to 1 ratio.
Bring water to a boil, add sugar and remove from heat source. Stir until sugar is dissolved in your hot water.
Do not boil your sugar water, you want sugar water not syrup.
Adding red food coloring to your sugar water is not necessary and in some cases can be harmful to hummingbirds.
Hint: Use pure cane sugar not beet sugar.

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Short day length trigger Fall events

Day length even more than temperature is the trigger for Fall migration of birds and leaf color changes.
As hours of daylight shorten I am seeing the first signs of Fall.
Tree leafs are beginning to change from dark greens to lighter yellowish colors with tinges of red.

Trees have slowed their growth and are getting ready to shed leafs and go dormant for winter hibernation.
Flowers are in full bloom in an attempt to produce viable seed for next years growing season.
Here that means it is sunflower season and everywhere you look sunflowers are in full bloom.

Birds that I haven’t seen in several months are returning to feed and build fat reserves to continue their long migration south. Some over winter as far south as southern Mexico and central America.

Several different types of hummingbirds can be seen in the early morning hours feeding. Getting ready to move south where they will over winter.
My tiny garden is on the edge of the fall migration flyways for Ruby throat, Black chin, Broad billed, Rufous and Broadtail hummingbirds.

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Hummingbird Summer

Summers dry rainless days and nights with it’s full sunshine and heat has arrived.

Springs cooler weather flowering plants are gone.
Few plants in my tiny part of SW Oklahoma flower in the heat and dry of summer. It will be late August before the cooler season fall blooming flowers suddenly pop in to full bloom. Till then my hummingbird feeders will supplement the hummingbirds food needs.

I only have 2 feeders. Each holds about 8 ounces (1 1/2 cup) of sugar water. At present I have enough hummingbirds visiting my feeders to consume 16 ounces (3 cups) of sugar water every 24 hours. Making fresh sugar water and refilling feeders is an every morning project.
This routine will continue until cooler weather fall season flowers are in bloom and the hummingbirds will be less dependent on a supplemental food source.

Several pair of Ring Neck doves, 2 pair of Cardinals(redbirds) and 1 pair of Redwing black birds that come to feed from a cake pan filled with black sunflower seed several times a day seem to be happy to shell and consume sunflower seed. At present they are consuming close to one 13 ounce coffee can full of sunflower seed everyday.

Luckily I can purchase 50 pounds of sunflower seed from my local farmers coop store for about 1/3 the price of 50 pounds of seed from places like Atwood’s, Lowe’s and Home depot.

Like pigeons, dove are ground feeders and prefer to feed from a feed tray placed on a large flat landing platform.

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Better Late Than Never, Spring Is In The Air

It’s a week past my normal last frost date and maybe, just maybe I have had my last spring frost. A few nights ago it went down to 26 degrees F. and did a lot of damage to tender new plant buds and plants that had leafed out. It, the frost, has set my grapes back at least 1 if not 2 weeks.

Hummingbirds have started arriving. Everyday it seems that I have one or two more than the day before visiting my feeders.
Just my opinion but I think it is a good investment to buy feeders with what sellers call bee and wasp guards. After replacing my old style feeders with new feeders with bee guards having bees and wasp feeding at my hummingbird feeders is no longer a problem me and the hummingbirds must contend with.

The Purple Martin house is open and raise to a height of about 12 feet. My first pair of Martins arrived Saturday and have given their nod of approval.

Chicken have finished molting and have started laying about 1 egg per bird everyday. Just for the record I have 4 hens that are now 4 years old and 3 that are 2 years old.
Grin … now me and extended family have more eggs than we can eat every week and that’s a good thing.
Smiling… as my hens get to old to be useful egg producers, I keep putting out feed and they become yard ornaments for my viewing pleasure.

Cataract surgery on my left eye went well. I’m seeing things that I have not seen well for at least 4 or 5 years. I have a followup doctors visit set for the 18th and he will operate on my right eye on the morning of the 25th.

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Definition: Mothers day, Nine months after Fathers day

Hummingbird feeder update– New feeder arrived, took down old feeders and hung new feeder last Friday morning. Filled feeder with a fresh batch of sugar water (1 part sugar to 4 parts water, 2 cups water 1/2 cup sugar makes 1 pint feeder mix).
Hummingbirds seem happy with the new feeder and after 3 days, No Bees hanging around the feeder. Will buy more of this type feeders.

Today we hit 93 degrees F(33.9C). Spring rains are still staying 100+ miles north of my tiny garden moving east into Arkansas and Missouri. I’m still watering each tree and vine for 1 hour then moving on to the next plant. Sad smile… by the time I get all plants well watered it will be time to start the process over.

Daughters little 8 foot X 20 Foot garden space is filling up and looking really good. (Click photo to Zoom in).

Bamboo(year 2) and Cannas are doing well.
Cannas will soon be in full bloom and with luck Bamboo will reach it’s advertised height of 25 feet tall.

PS. Chiggers are active and doing well. 😦

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Cheap Entertainment. Hummingbirds In The Garden.

Top Secret Manhattan Hummingbird Project.

Every year I tell myself I need to do more to attract Hummingbirds to the garden but fail to follow through.

(1). This year I have purchased 2 – Honeysuckle vines to plant near the area where I hang my feeders.
(2). I have ordered a different ‘style’ feeder. It makes claim to have bee guards on the feeding ports and is equipped with a perch so the birds can land and feed verses chasing a swing feeder in the wind in an attempt to feed.

Grin… I must be easily entertained.

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Birds Of A Feather – Don’t Flock Together

At the end of March I had 6 pair of Purple Martins hanging around my new martin House and about the same number of Hummingbirds visiting my feeders. Then we had 3 or 4 days of cool rainy days and winds gusting to 60+ mph and all but 1 Hummingbird and 1 pair of Martins moved on to a more hospitable home site.

I have one lone Hummingbird coming to my feeders now. O-where have all the Hummingbirds gone? It seems that I now have only one pair of Martins nesting here this year. That’s the way it go’s some years. Maybe I have better luck next season.

serveimage WX guy is still saying we may be in for some severe thunder storms late this afternoon, but the good news is that as of this morning it looks like I will be on the west edge of the severe storm area. They say that some areas may see 80 mph winds and hail the size of softballs! Grin… one hailstone that size will demolish my new Martin house.

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Nipped In The Bud!

After more than a week and a half of day and night time temperatures 20 to 25 degrees above normal, many fruit trees will be ‘nipped’ in the bud next week when temperatures return to our more normal February temperatures.

A few apple, cherry, peach and pear trees have been fooled into budding and blooming a full 45-60 days early this year. Tiny Garden’s ‘normal’ frost/freeze date is the 10th of April.

Bamboo update: Bamboo planted last December is looking pretty good. It has survived our coldest weather of the year with only a few freeze damaged leaf’s.
Son-n-law (Monday) dug and transplanted 3 or 4 Sea cane roots to form a wind break protecting his back(north) door from our cold north and northwest winds.
Mmmmm… I’m not sure but locally it is called sea(see) cane, however I really think it is Arundinaria a bamboo native to the Americas and not a true cane species.
Be it cane or bamboo it grows 8 to 15 feet tall with a nice decorative late summer bloom and will form a dense clump of 1 to 1 1/4 diameter canes.

Window bracket and Hummingbird feeders.

hummingbird-feeders

Poco D. Horse called the cops to report a missing pair of shoes.

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Hummingbirds That May Be Seen In your Area (North America)

green violet ear FYI, I make no claim to be any kind of expert in identifying the numerous bird species I see at my feeders during winter, spring migrations, summer and fall migrations.

I was amazed to find that in my area of southwest Oklahoma, I have 6 different confirmed Hummingbird species that visit southwest Oklahoma during their spring migration north / fall migration south and as spring/summer/fall resident birds.
I’m going to pay closer attention to the Hummingbirds and keep a list of species I can identify that have visited my feeders.

Know species that have been seen and confirmed in Oklahoma.
* Anna’s
* Black-chinned
* Broad tailed
* Calliope
* Ruby-throated
* Rufous
* Green Violet-ear²

A State listing of Hummingbirds is to extensive to post here.
However Hummingbirds net Has a nice North American – State by State listing of Hummingbird species you can expect to see in your state. {List includes Canada}.

Hummingbirds.net has a short description and picture of both Male and Females to assist you in identifying birds that come to your feeders.

²Green Violet-ear can be seen in the highlands of the American tropics, from Mexico to Bolivia, Green Violet-ear is a dark green hummingbird and is commonly seen in forest clearings and edges for forested areas.
* Green Violet-ear is apparently somewhat nomadic, moving around mountain ranges, some wanderers may been found in many USA states every year.
** Green Violet-ear has been recorded many times in Texas, the species has also appeared in scattered locations from coast to coast and north as far as Canada.

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