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The Hummingbirds Are Gone Now: Wonderful article

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The Hummingbirds Are Gone Now

By SongofJoy
October 24, 2011

It always makes me a little melancholy when I realize that the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have left here on their annual fall migration to southern Mexico, Central America, and even as far away as South America.

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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (zone 5) (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Oct 23, 2011 6:49 PM CST
We, too, are always sad to see the little hummingbirds migrate, but we also worry when we see them when it starts to get cool!!! They are such amazing creatures. Your article did a wonderful job of capturing their beauty and their effect on us, their temporary hosts!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Oct 23, 2011 7:18 PM CST
I reluctantly took down my last feeder last week and put it away. I hope they've all gone further south now. I had to move our feeders because of ant invasions a couple of times this year and the hummers were not happy. Miss 'em already
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (zone 5) (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Oct 23, 2011 7:31 PM CST
Sandi--the past few weeks, only the bees have been enjoying mine. I finally took it down today and emptied it of several dead bees Sad The hummers do NOT like to compete with those guys, that's for sure.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Oct 23, 2011 8:21 PM CST
Tee what an amazing, heartfelt article you wrote about your hummers. I felt your feelings of melancholy at the thought of missing them and worrying about their safety on such long trip.
I know they remember your kindness in providing them food and find it so interesting to see how they communicate their desires to us humans.
Thank you so much for such a great article.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Oct 23, 2011 8:29 PM CST
Linda, you're so right!
Name: Tee
TN (Zone 7a)
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SongofJoy
Oct 24, 2011 4:04 AM CST
Thank you, fellow hummingbird lovers. They have a way of stealing into your heart, don't they? It was awhile before I gave much thought to all the good they are doing in my yard and garden. That endeared them to me even more,

Ya'll probably know about smearing a ring of petroleum jelly around feeder poles to stop the ants and crawling insects from reaching the feeders.

And there has been a big discussion going on about bees and wasps being attracted to the color yellow but not the color red. This year I purchased feeders that didn't have the yellow "flower" nectar ports for the hummers to drink from and didn't notice any wasps or bees bothering the feeders. I guess there's something to that. I've also noticed that manufacturers are making more feeders that don't have much or any yellow on them. The public is starting to speak with their pocketbooks. Smiling
Member: Tennessee Native Plant Society and The Gesneriad Society
March to the beat of your own drum // "We kids feared many things in those days - werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School - but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts." ~~Dave Barry
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 8, Sunset
Lake City, Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 24, 2011 4:17 AM CST
Very interesting about the color yellow Tee. Thanks for mentioning that. I will remember that.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ~~~ Will Rogers
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. - Woodrow Wilson





Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
Oct 24, 2011 8:43 AM CST
Our hummers arrive just as the lilacs are about ready to bloom. Tulips and daffys are still blooming in profusion. I knew that the hummers fed tiny insects to their babies, but hadn't thought of the protein needs of the adults. However, it does make sense that they would need a certain amount of protein. I hadn't seen a hummer since mid Sept, so last week I packed our feeders away for the winter. We didn't have many hummers this year, not sure why, but I'm guessing it was the weather. Anybody else in the west have an idea about that?
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Oct 24, 2011 9:36 AM CST
We didn't have very many here this year either. And I didn't know about the color yellow, thank you for that bit of information Tee.
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Name: Becky (Boo)
Phoenix, AZ 85022
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Boopaints
Oct 24, 2011 11:25 PM CST
Thanks for the tip about the petroleum jelly, Tee. I had never heard that!
Name: Tee
TN (Zone 7a)
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SongofJoy
Oct 25, 2011 7:48 AM CST
Double-sided tape works too but eventually makes a sticky mess on the pole. At least with the vaseline you can wipe it off -- which it needs occasionally anyway after it gets a number of ants or bugs in it. It's like those yellow sticky papers for trapping insects ... they work but don't look too pretty sometimes. Big Grin
Member: Tennessee Native Plant Society and The Gesneriad Society
March to the beat of your own drum // "We kids feared many things in those days - werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School - but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts." ~~Dave Barry
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 8, Sunset
Lake City, Fl. (Zone 8b)
I'm a Charley's Girl!
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 25, 2011 8:15 AM CST
I've used vaseline on the poles of bird feeders too to keep the squirrels off. Entertainment!!!!!!! But you have to wipe the grit off every few days otherwise they get "traction". So you have to clean & renew the vaseline.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ~~~ Will Rogers
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. - Woodrow Wilson





Name: Janice
USA
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sandnsea2
Oct 25, 2011 10:22 AM CST
Wonderful article, Tee! Great information, and I share your feelings for these lovely little creatures.

We did have a few dedicated hummers who arrived every morning and evening at almost the exact same time. I swear you could set your watch by them!
Have no feeders, they feast on the Monarda, Hyssop, Salvia and petunias. Boy did they like the seed planted Monarda this year...
Name: Tee
TN (Zone 7a)
Crazy cat woman
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Bee Lover Frogs and Toads Garden Ideas: Master Level I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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SongofJoy
Oct 25, 2011 10:49 AM CST
Thanks, Janice. You know all those flowers are the best thing anyway. Thumbs up My hummers went wild over some things this year too. I used less nectar than in past years since they did so much feasting on plants.
Member: Tennessee Native Plant Society and The Gesneriad Society
March to the beat of your own drum // "We kids feared many things in those days - werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School - but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts." ~~Dave Barry

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