This past week after being in Orlando, Florida, the weather has not been kind to our hummingbirds. With all their tropical flowers, the hummingbirds were frequent in Florida. I have not been kind to our hummingbirds. Joyfully getting out the feeders in preparation this spring, I neglected to zippy lock up the white tips to one of the feeders. Thinking they were intelligent and find the sweet life giving nectar, I left the little white tips off. The first solid rainstorm we had this spring/summer, which in addition, the cold gave me my first crying spell over my darling hummingbirds. I found my black capped hummingbird drowned with his bill in the feeder during the rainstorm. Ran out and thought maybe he had just done this and I could CPR him or something. (My thought since I am a nurse). But he was cold and I jerked that feeder down with several hummingbirds following me back to the house. In fact one sat on the rod iron and stared at me through the window until I had a new one out.
To slightly back track, the past four years we have been building a large group of hummingbirds. We went from one female, who was determined to get nectar from JD’s red sweaty t-shirt. Blech! Poor girl. He would just stand there and let the ol’ gal poke at his chest. So I, in great joy, went out and bought feeders. Thank heavens I didn’t have to buy nectar. It can be made so easily by scratch. And a heads up, please do not use anything but white sugar and do not add red food coloring. It will kill the little darlings. My mother made me laugh this year when she said, “How do you know they can’t use raw sugar?” ” Uh, Mom, I said, they use the liquid stuff, nectar, from the flowers……” Wait for it, wait for it….. The Jeopardy song is running in my head. Pressing my lips together in order not to laugh, I stared and then we and laughed hysterically about her flub. But seriously, the natural raw sugar has iron and hummingbirds cannot rid the iron and die of iron overdose.
Here is one of the best sites I have found if you are interested in hummingbirds http://www.hummingbirds.net I can say I have found so much joy in these birds. We went from one female and she had 1 male and 1 female. They all came back, had nests and we were up to 12 last year with buzzing, aerial fighting and squeaks all over the place. This year only 4 with the cold and several strong storms taking out their nests. I wondered if several were killed with the 80 mph winds from two storms this summer.
But today I saw a female and a male hummingbird. Ruby throat, but no black caps. I hope the ones in Wichita did better than mine this year.
I have included some of my favorite photos of my hummingbirds. Please don’t reuse them unless you get my permission.