Tag Archives: migration

War of the Sugarwater

Every evening, about 20 or more hummingbirds gather in my backyard for an evening meal.

And you would think that with 6 feeders, there would be enough for everyone to share and be happy (I added a new, 32 oz. 6 port one today).

But no. Hummingbirds are little bullies.
They’ll spend their precious energy defending the feeders from the rest of the hummingbirds.
The little meanies are also chasing off my poor little chickadees who aren’t bothering a soul and even the sparrows are afraid of them!

The air if filled with the tiny sounds of  chattering, fussing and buzzing and the small sounds of tiny bodies crashing into each other. It’s surprising how noisy these little guys are!

It’s a wonder the feeders are emptied at all but, somehow, they mange to do it and quickly!
I just refilled them all today with fresh homemade syrup and by Saturday, they’ll be empty again.
There may be more than 20 birds~ but it’s hard to count them while they are racing around the yard in hot pursuit of each other!

Steve and I will sit on the back porch and watch them. This is our view from my table. I have two feeders hanging off each corner of the roof.
The birds will chase each other between them, buzzing by our heads as if we weren’t there.
One nearly crashed into Steve yesterday, stopping about a foot from his face.

The nights are getting cooler and they are gathering in preparation to migrate south.
They are building energy as fast as they can before they go.
I used to take my feeders down with the first frost- to encourage the hummers to move on and not hang around and freeze. But I just learned from a person who rehabilitates birds, specializing in hummingbirds, that this is a myth. The little birds know when to go and wont hang around because of easy food. But, by leaving your feeder up as long as you can into fall, you will be helping stragglers make it through their journey by providing them with a little extra food and energy.
And now is a good idea to make the syrup more concentrated to give them that extra boost. Change the ratio to 3 parts water to 1 part sugar.

All in all, Bullies or not, the littler humming bird is one of my favorites.