Attracting Hummers

Not so long ago, I was visiting at a friend’s house, and her backyard was abuzz.

Hummer after hummer flew toward her feeder, sucking greedily from the slots, then spinning off. They chased one another, hovered suspended in the air, chirped, and put on a fascinating show.

I was hooked. I had to have a feeder of my own.

So the next time I was in WalMart, I browsed through the garden and outdoors section, finally deciding on a hummingbird feeder.

With nectar to go inside.

The nectar was red when I bought it, though the hummers don’t seem to care one way or another!

I took my prize home, followed the directions for making the “food,” and hung the feeder right outside the kitchen window.

Where, I hoped, every time I washed my hands at the sink, I’d be able to watch the tiny creatures.

I waited. And prayed for the arrival of some hungry “guests.”

At last, I was rewarded! Hummers have found my feeder, and they’re coming often to eat.

I’ve since learned that these tiny birds (about 3.5 inches in length), flap their wings approximately 80 times per second (thus, the humming sound!). Unlike some other birds, they don’t mate for life; the mama birds handle all the nest-building and baby-raising. The nest is about the size of a ping-pong ball; the eggs, the size of a jelly bean.

Hummers migrate annually, spending winter in the warm southern climates. Prior to their trip, they must “fatten up,” nearly doubling their body weight. People can help by setting out feeders (1/4 c. sugar, 1 c. water, NO red food coloring!); if temperatures are predicted to dip in the evening, bring the feeder in so the birds don’t have to drink cold food.

For more hummingbird facts, check this out.