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Thread: Hummingbird feeder tips

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
    That's amazing, I only see maybe 2-3 all season at my place in Northern Catskills. Have tried feeders but they only seem to attract bees from the neighbour's hives and the occasional bear.
    A friend in Colorado had zillions of humming birds. One nested close to the house so he put in a live nest web cam.

    We see hummingbirds at our feeders every day. Sometimes we hear them zipping past our heads on the way to the feeders. If you watch carefully you might see them go from the feeder to a nearby branch in a tree and sit till they are ready for another sip. The territorial birds use this perch to keep an eye on the feeder too!

    Our feeders do attract bees from our hives but not many and it doesn't stop the birds. I've watched hummingbirds chase bees away. Fortunately, a bear is rare within about 50 miles of us.

    JKJ

  2. #17
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    Aug 2011
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    New York, NY
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    I'm on the edge of protected NYC DEP Watershed and Catskill Park so loads of bears who absolutely love bird seed, suet, nectar and whatever else I've tried to put out around the house. If it were just the squirrels getting in to mix it'd be one thing but a bear will pretty well demolish any feeder within their reach. Still have plenty owls, woodpeckers, hawks and the occasional bald eagle.

  3. #18
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    Apr 2018
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    A bear you say? This was a little over a month ago.

    At least with hummingbirds they are small. It's the wild turkeys. They eat everything that falls on the ground. I can even walk outside with some cracked corn and they are so competitive for food one or two will forget about their natural fear of humans and walk towards me.

  4. #19
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    Aug 2011
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    I had the feeling I was being watched yesterday. Turns out this guy was intensely interested in me assembling a new window I'd been working on..


  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    979
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
    That's amazing, I only see maybe 2-3 all season at my place in Northern Catskills. Have tried feeders but they only seem to attract bees from the neighbour's hives and the occasional bear.

    We have been feeding the little hummers for over 25 years Peter. And as the word got around amongst the little birds, they just keep coming. I think it is like most with the animals, the more you feed them the more they produce. My wife is 75, and I tell her to not push herself so much, but she loves the birds.
    If you just keep at it feeding them I think you will begin to see more of them.
    The bears never bothered the sugar water, but they have taken down the other feeders alot these past ten years, because some neighbors thought it was cute to feed the bears and then film them for their facebook. I would take the feeders in at night during the summer, but the bears started showing up during the day so we had to stop with the feeders. Just broadcast some food on the ground for the regular birds.
    We feed the crows and the bluejays purina dog food feom 50 pound bags that last about 1 month. At one time we had over 100 bluejays. Now we probably have 50-75 of them. I have become quite popular with the crow family and the bluejays.

  6. #21
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Brinkmeyer View Post
    I use to put out feeders, but all of a sudden, every morning they would be empty, I was told it might be bats.
    I did not mind washing and filling them 3 times a week, but not daily if it was bats.
    Anyone heard of this or have any insights as to what might have been happening?

    Paul, WE have numerous woodpeckers, downy and hairy, and the have become addicted to the sugar water for the hummingbirds. They can sit there and drink for a good half hour sometimes.
    Also at night time maybe racoons could be getting into your feeders, but then you could have alot of hummingbirds and not know it.

  7. #22
    [QUOTE=michael langman;3131244]Paul, WE have numerous woodpeckers, downy and hairy, and the have become addicted to the sugar water for the hummingbirds.
    Thats one of the advantages of growing jewel weed, only the humming birds drink the nectar.

  8. #23
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Thats one of the advantages of growing jewel weed, only the humming birds drink the nectar.
    This (and so many other plants) is the best way to feed the hummingbirds as well as butterflies.

  9. #24
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    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    [QUOTE=Mel Fulks;3131248]
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    Paul, WE have numerous woodpeckers, downy and hairy, and the have become addicted to the sugar water for the hummingbirds.
    Thats one of the advantages of growing jewel weed, only the humming birds drink the nectar.

    Mel, We have jewel weed growing along the road front yard and in the compost pile, and along the wood line behind the house., naturally. The hummers do like it. My wife has planted a big patch of bee balm and she has 3 other areas with wild flowers and many native things that have come up over the years, for the birds and bees.
    I have watched the little hummers go from clover to clover in the yard. I keep the mower deck on a high setting to give the clover a chance to spread too.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    My wife has planted a big patch of bee balm and she has 3 other areas with wild flowers and many native things that have come up over the years, for the birds and bees.
    At our old house, we had a patch of Jacob Kline Monarda (Bee Balm) that the hummingbirds LOVED. Even though we had a hummingbird feeder in the same area where a few birds would stop by, once that brilliant red Bee Balm really took off, we had dozens of hummingbirds show up for the flowers.

    It is on my list to clean up an area at the new house and plant more Jacob Kline.

    We had woodpeckers draining our feeder this year. Thought it was bats too, but it was the woodpeckers showing up on our cameras.

    When it comes to feeders, they do have some nice new wide-mouth feeders that are easy to clean. I picked up a new one that has a perch all the way around and we love to see them sit and drink versus needing to fly the whole time. The best tip I have is make sure the feeder you buy is easy to open. My new one appeared easy while at the store, but that was with dry hands. Once your hands are damp from washing it, we found there was no easy way to grip the base and spin it open or close. I plan to glue a small handle on the bottom so I have something to hold on to and twist.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

  11. #26
    We do have a lot of woodpeckers here and I did see them sit and "party", but I cut off the perches so nothing could sit, forcing them to be flying.
    It did stop the woodpeckers, at-least during the day, but a few weeks later is when they would be empty overnight.
    I do not know what it was now draining the feeders, if woodpeckers found a way to sit on top and reach down, or if it was indeed bats, never caught anything.
    I will have to see what flowering plants I can put here in the desert of southern AZ that would work. I will look at some of the plants mentioned here. I would rather use plants anyway.
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  12. #27
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    Sep 2009
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    We will have to try the Jacobs Kline Mike. It sounds like a good tea to drink too. I don't know what our bee balm is but it likes to spread, and I make sure to fertilize it every year.
    I don't know how many feeders we tried that were either difficult to clean or open. If someone was to come up with a good feeder design they would be a wealthy person.

    Great idea about removing the perches to stop the woodpeckers from feasting Paul. I will have to tell Nancy, my better half about it. She makes all of the important decisions around here most days.

  13. #28
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    Feb 2013
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    Duvall, WA
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    I haven't tried this myself because my feeders were right outside my window. But you could put a small plastic ball or other type of visible float inside the feeder that would be easy to spot from a distance.

  14. #29
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    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    Thanks to this thread, I put out a feeder and have attracted a couple of hummingbirds. I've put them out several times over the years, but was unsuccessful at getting birds to use them.
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