So, I left one of the feeders in its usual place, and anchored a tall shepherd’s crook into the ground next to the bubbler, which is a water attractant for the birds. Now they can't see each other at the feeders, and it has worked out well. I may even put another one at the front of the house.
Before you decide to have nectar feeders for hummers, it's important to realise this is a commitment. It's a sad thing to see feeders that are not maintained properly, with insects lying in them, and mould in the fluid. In the summer your nectar may have to be changed as frequently as every four days. If you go away on vacation, it's really best not to have feeders, unless you have someone else who will take over.
Your selection of feeders is important too. Remember those beautiful, showy designed glass masterpieces are made with you in mind--not the hummers! If offered a choice, they seem to go for the tacky red and yellow ones every time. These are the feeders I use.
A few of the hummingbirds' favorite flowers in my garden...
In my area the Anna’s hummers stay all year, so that’s an especially big feeding commitment, although with the cold weather, the nectar doesn't have to be changed as frequently. However, if the temp drops to freezing I always bring the feeders in and get them out early in the morning. It doesn't matter how sneaky I am about this, they'll always come out clicking at me, their wings whirring in front of my face. It's another magical garden moment.
The swallows have returned, and they're flying aerodynamically all over the sky in search of insects. Hope they don't chomp too many of my mason bees. They're such sweet little things.
And the Rufous hummers are such exhibitionists at this time of the year; if you sit really quietly you'll see the males dart upwards for many feet, then come down with a whistling sound, and a click as they reach the feeder. It happens when the females are present.
I've written about the hummers before. But every year they bring new fascination, and I hope you’ll enjoy these hints and observations from my garden.
Wishing you a beautiful week ahead.