Hummers are Eating Furiously!
I thought it has been a couple of weeks since I was encouraging all you readers to get up those Hummingbird Feeders but when I looked back it was more than six (6) weeks ago. Can’t believe time passes by so quickly. We have had a very strange happening about three (3) weeks back it seemed like the hummers had just stopped coming to the feeder. Sweetie said to me that we just needed to get to the store and get some of the red hummingbird food because it seems to attract them better. But I retorted that they had been drinking the 4 parts water to 1 part sugar that I had been making for them. This continued for about two (2) weeks that we were only seeing one or two of the hummers at the feeder and we even poured out the old food and put in fresh thinking that was the problem.
So I started asking about the nesting behavior of the hummers and the gestation period for the eggs. For me it was off to the trusty, Google, while sweetie got out the book he has had for so very long. Both seemed to agree that the incubation is done only by the female and usually lasts 16-18 days, unless it is a littler cooler when it takes a little longer. She typically lays one egg, skips a day and then lays a second with incubation starting after both eggs are laid. Just reading about the tiny nests and the size of half an English walnut. I have yet to find a nest but love to examine the pictures others have shared of the nests.
I have not found where it talks about the fledging of the babies but only that they do not leave the nest until they are about the size of the adults, which is still tiny. We then over the Memorial Day weekend have started seeing more birds. And then last night we were totally amazed that this feeder which has six (6) yellow flowers on it was completely full of hummers eating. This was late evening and then we continued watching and would you believe those sweet little things were on that feeder until we could barely see them at dark. All the way through dusk they had continued to feed.
Normally there will be two or three and the hummingbirds are truly territorial and seem to enjoy buzzing each other and causing those who are feeding to fly away and come back at a later time just to buzz the other. I also noticed that sweetie had almost filled the feeder again. I asked, “Didn’t you just fill that yesterday?” He responded that he did but they seemed to be having trouble getting food from the feeder and he had found that it was indeed almost empty and they couldn’t get the food. He said that once he refilled it they were back again feeding.
I guess with all this additional activity and it is just the end of May that we are having an early summer. Normally in July and August the hummingbirds are trying to gain enough weight to be able to make the long trip to their wintering territory. Now I asked Sweetie, “Do you think that since they are eating so much earlier than normal, we will have an early winter?” Seems that God let’s his creature know how to handle things long in advance to prepare them for the future and we just saunter along in our day to day worlds.
It will be interesting to hear from some of you as to whether you are experiencing the same occurrences as we are with the hummingbirds. Have the babies already hatched and they are just having to feed them lots so they can grow. Oh dear, if the babies are still in the nests what will we do when they fledge and need to feed too. I will have to search out the old feeder with only 4 flowers and put it somewhere else so they will have plenty to eat. There is one lady hummer which we have named “Buzzer” because she never sits down on the rest to feed. I like for them to conserve when they can, at least while they are eating at our feeders. Some of these little birds are scarcely as large as my little finder and that is pretty small. Please be sure to comment on your hummingbird behaviors this year. I am sure you will hear more from me on this topic. Even though I work full time, I take time when seated to watch these terrific little birds. This is one wonderful part of Country Living in the City for us.
All of ours have been gone until two days ago. We think we have two back now. No one in our area, Geraldine, has had any for weeks.
This is truly a odd season for the hummers this year.