Hummingbirds Tank Up (Video!)

“Like the hummingbird sipping nectar from every flower, I fly joyfully through my days, seeing beauty in everything.” ~ Amethyst Wyldfyre

The severe drought of 2011 brought Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in record numbers to our backyard feeders in the fall. Flowers all year were scarce, so in order to get their little tanks full for their long journey to the south, they relied on our daily feeder maintenance to build fat stores.

These miniature feathered friends drank more than a gallon of solution per day during the peak, cooked from scratch in my kitchen in usual fashion with 4 parts water, 1 part sugar, boiled 5 minutes, then cooled.

So fun to watch.

Stop.  Look.  Listen.
Enjoy all nature has to offer.

28 thoughts on “Hummingbirds Tank Up (Video!)

  1. Love this post and the comments & videos. I’m another dedicated feeder, but I see a lot more fussing and chasing than sharing. One time I saw two hummers facing each other, nearly beak to beak, rising up into the air at a slow pace. Not sure what they were doing, but it seemed sweet, not the usual nonsense.

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    1. We refer to that as ‘aerial jousting!!’ Two males went at each other right to the ground at my feet once. It is so fun to watch, isn’t it? Keep on feeding; soon they’ll be gone…and missed.

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  2. I bought a birthday card for someone yesterday. There was note from the manufacturer inside that stated: Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbirds delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.

    Nice thought. I have a hummingbird feeder and all I ever see them do is fight and stuff their faces with sugar!

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    1. You probably more than me. Bastrop was devastated by those fires. This year — though the numbers are less — we still see quite a flurry. At the time of the video, there would be 30-40 hummers each on 4 feeders. I’ve never seen such cooperation from the species. Thanks for the comment, Steve.

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      1. Wow, 30 to 40 on each of four feeders: I’ve never heard of such numbers.

        The Bastrop fire was terrible, and for a time you could smell smoke in the air in Austin 30 miles away. Several outskirts of Austin had fires as well. One blaze burned right up to the back yard of some friends of ours in Pflugerville:

        http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/fire/

        Luckily their house was untouched, but someone I know to the west of Austin had her house burn to the ground.

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  3. My absolute favorite of all the birds. If you get back to my blog sometime, do a search on hummingbirds. I have a couple of posts with links to my SmugMug galleries and a few videos (not as high quality as those) of the little dynamos perched on my finger as they feed on my feeders.

    By the way, I was glad to see you use clear nectar (as opposed to the Alaska video).

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    1. Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed. I am enamored with your recent hawk gallery. THEY are my favorite of the birds. I will go back now to see what you have on hummers.

      It was a daunting task keeping all those little guys fed for 6 weeks; I boiled up a gallon of solution at a time. We enjoyed them right up close, but never perched on the fingers. We’ll try again next year when the kids have a bit more patience.

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      1. We go through roughly 25 pounds of sugar in our short season here in Monument. Four hanging feeders, four window feeders. Beginning the middle of August through almost September it’s daily refilling.

        This year they were a little early in leaving, and there were not as many. We’ll see next year, but I was a little concerned something might have affected them. I hope not.

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      2. They were all on my back porch. Swear. Though I can’t imagine any creature who would choose Texas for a vacation or fly-through over your lovely Colorado…certainly not me. 🙂

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    1. That’s too bad! They’re vicious little personalities to watch. For being so little, they will fight another all the way down to the ground guarding a feeder. It’s cool to sit and observe. Though we haven’t been able to get them to drink directly from of our hands, we can hold a feeder while they drink. Check this one out, in Alaska.

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