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  • OT - Hummingbird feeder

    Anyone use a hummingbird feeder? Do you mix it on your own? I think I used 1 cup sugar / 4 cups water. Got 2 birds coming in so far. I read that the mix goes sour after three days? Is that right? If so, I'll mix just half as much until I get more hummers.

    A friend has hummingbird heaven. I have never seen anything like it. He lives near a lake, I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But it's beyond belief. For several years now. This year, they figure they have up to 100 at the same time! They have six feeders I think.

    Other people say they have a lot of hummingbirds and he keeps his mouth shut unless they press him. Like "Oh, okay, you have a dozen or so hummers, I got 100!" It's been a couple of years but I did see several dozen at once. That many wings buzzing and them chirping and chasing each other, it's quite a racket. They are very jealous of one another. Always some badasses in the bunch.
    :::

    Bill

  • #2
    We tried a hummingbird feeder. My wife bought one at one of those home/garden type stores. The solution just dripped out of the spout until it was dry. We got tired of that. There must be a better feeder out there. When our new house is done I'm going to look into that.

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    • #3
      My feeder is el cheapo model but works fine. It has six feeder holes, I think. I just saw three hummers out there and it has been four days since mixing, I think. So, apparently the mix is not sour.

      A bird only gets a few sips before another one comes and chases him off. I don't know why they can't just sip together. No lie, they expend a tremendous amount of energy chasing each other off.
      :::

      Bill

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      • #4
        i once held a hummingbird. it had gotten caught in a spiders web [the spider was HUGE] so i picked it out of the web with a long stick and brought it over and "untangled" the web from the hummingbird. it spread it wings open in my hand, sat there for a minute and then flew off.

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        • #5
          so i picked it out of the web with a long stick and brought it over and "untangled" the web from the hummingbird. it spread it wings open in my hand, sat there for a minute and then flew off.


          Wow, that's quite a story. Even though the spider was huge, I guess it wasn't huge enough to eat a hummer. Else, he would have already pounced on him.

          One time I found a dead hummer. A few minutes after admiring him, he flew off.

          I since learned that in the fall, when it gets colder, at night, they go into a "stupor," a semi-hibernative state. I guess it conserves energy. They burn tremendous amounts of energy.

          I also learned that they eat mostly bugs. Which surprised me. They suck nectar just for energy. The bugs give them protein and fat.

          Also, they build nests of from spider webs and lichens! Pretty cool bird!
          :::

          Bill

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          • #6
            well, i dont know... i saw it fly into the web so if the spider was coming for it i kept it at bay... but imagine a web strong enough to stop a hummingbird dead in flight. i think the spider had a good 6" diameter to it [legs and all].


            im married with kids, so i know a dead hummer intimately

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            • #7
              .


              WOW! I didn't know such a spider existed. I mean, one that spins a web. Where was this? What country? Any idea what kind of spider? I'd like to read up about that guy.

              Only spider I can think of that gets a few inches big in the USA that spins a web is one of the garden (orb) spiders. But 6 inches, sheesh!

              EDIT: Like this one?
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsGed7-HSmU

              That's something else that the web you saw stopped a hummingbird.
              :::

              Bill

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              • #8
                There are some wolf spiders that get that big. I have plenty of both wolf spiders and hummers but never seen a hummer fly into a spider web! Wow.

                You got the nectar "recipe" right so far as I've always used. Basically you just have to watch it and change the nectar if it gets cloudy. The time it takes to go bad varies with the weather, it can last a week or sometimes it can go bad in a day or two.

                Another thing you can do to attract hummers is plant any flowering plants that have red flowers (orange or pink will do too). They love coral honeysuckle, coral bells, bee balm, butterfly bushes, etc. Anything red, they like.
                What The...?
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                • #9
                  Cool thread.
                  RIP: Nite Owl Jazz

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                  • #10
                    The more I think about it, the more amazed I am that a spider web would stop a hummingbird. Think about the mass of a fly versus the mass of a hummingbird. Wow, that had to be a badass web.

                    I previously stated that I read that hummingbirds build their nests of spider web and lichens. I don't suppose the hummer was just hovering trying to gather web was he? I mean, if he had inertia going for him and the web stopped him, that makes it more amazing.

                    Speaking of gathering web, I wonder how a hummingbird does that! Where does he put it!
                    :::

                    Bill

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                    • #11
                      so i picked it out of the web with a long stick and brought it over and "untangled" the web from the hummingbird. it spread it wings open in my hand, sat there for a minute and then flew off.


                      My neighbor did that a couple of weeks ago. Hummer flew into the open door on her screened porch, and got confused and overheated trying to get out. It sat in her hand for about five minutes, feeding from the sugar before it finally zoomed off. Astounding to see one up close for that long.
                      “Never attribute to malice the things which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”I play guitar, bass and drums with equal enthusiasm and lack of skill.

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                      • #12
                        WOW! I didn't know such a spider existed. I mean, one that spins a web. Where was this? What country? Any idea what kind of spider? I'd like to read up about that guy.

                        Only spider I can think of that gets a few inches big in the USA that spins a web is one of the garden (orb) spiders. But 6 inches, sheesh!

                        EDIT: Like this one?
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsGed7-HSmU

                        That's something else that the web you saw stopped a hummingbird.


                        no, i have those orb weavers in my yard all over the place right now, and unforunately a good bit of black widows about that i have been on a killing spree with. those orb weavers are kinda big but nothing like this one... and the web was THICK stranded stuff. honestly i never saw a spider like it before or since. we had been watching it for a few days with its web strung between two trees that the HB finally flew into. the web was so strong, it stopped it, but i think it got its wings caught up in the web as it did destroy the web in the process... but there was enough to hold it there and keep it there.

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                        • #13
                          Been feeding them here in Wisconsin for years. We never really had any problem with the sugar water going bad until this year. I'm not sure if the feeder got contaminated or what.

                          Also, it seemed like we had a TON of those little sugar ants climbing the tree, going out on the branch and climbing down a thin wire holding the feeder.

                          Again, for the first time, this year we had these big black nasty ground hornets hanging on the feeder. They were as mean as ummmm hornets.
                          They would actually chase the Hummers away. I hit 'em from a distance with the hose a few times but it never did any good.
                          www.relayerstudios.com

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                          • #14
                            For a couple of weeks, we were going through 8 cups of sugar water per day (in two different feeders). They're fun to watch.
                            Dave Martin
                            Nashville, TN
                            Java Jive Studio

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                            • #15
                              Egad, that's a lot of sugar water. I keep a feeder here in the colestin valley, too. We get a few hummers. The nests are really cool, have you seen one? They look like a knot on a branch, and the eggs are, well, cute. I have read that fermentation of the sugar solution causes liver enlargement (in a human it would be called "hematomegaly"). I try to change the nectar once a week -- and I suspect that fermentation can happen before cloudiness sets in. I love those little guys.

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