Hummingbirds Galore!

August 18, 2009


I don’t know what’s going on with my hummingbirds but they have been unbelievably active lately and there are so many I can hardly believe it!  I think there is a pair nesting in the tangle of sweet autumn clematis and trumpet vine that climbs (takes) over the arbor on the side.  I keep seeing two of them fly into there together…and out.  They have been hitting my front feeder a lot and they do it together.  This is unusual because hummers are pretty territorial by nature.  I got to see this first hand today when one came to the feeder and another flew from around the corner of the house and chased him away.  It’s not like they are in danger of missing a meal…there are plenty of nectar plants in my yard for them and tons of tiny bugs.  And the feeder holds about 5 gallons of nectar.  Well.  Not five gallons.  About 10 or 12 ounces IF I fill it all the way but compared to a hummer that’s like 5 gallons.  I’m glad they’ve come to the front feeder this year.  I can really look out the front window and see them from anywhere in the living room as they feed and then dart over to the   hawthorne tree in the island. 

Speaking of the island, the Blue Muffin viburnum all got a tremendous crop of berries this year.  I noticed on the house side, where it’s rather protected, the berries were disappearing fast and furious when they were first formed and green.  On the street side of the island the birds were not as brave.  They must be very ripe and attractive right now.  I watched vast numbers of birds flock in there today, diving into the bushes depths….and then you could only tell they were in there by watching the bush shake as they yanked berries from the branches.  I can’t wait till the viburnum in the back are big enough to fruit and provide enough for flocks of birds!  Unfortunately, the only birds out front were kind of scrub birds.  Sparrows (I didn’t realize they did fruit!), cowbirds, starlings etc.  I want cedar waxwings back as I got one year to the crabapple tree…I looked out the kitchen window and saw a huge flock of birds swoop into the trees and take turns blanketing the crabapple.  I got out the binoculars and sure enough.  Migrating Cedar Waxwings!  Alas, they’ve not been back since. Maybe when my Eastern Red Cedars are bigger.  They fruit now at about 4 feet tall, but I suspect they are too low to the ground to be trusty enough cover. 

Meanwhile, the coneflower has gone to seed and is drying as are some of the black eyed susies.  The Goldfinches just love those seeds and I can count on pair after pair of them landing right on the stems to feast away.  I really must get outside to take some photos.  Now that the housecleaning is done I might just have to do that!  Time to record the fruits of the planting labors…and it looks like the goals for the garden have been accomplished.



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