Brrrr…I Need Me Some Hummingbird Fluff

So much for our early spring weather! Temps are back into the 30’s (temporarily, I hope) so all of us near the Gulf Coast can experience a modicum of winter before the spring/summer temps are regularly back in the 90’s (which they normally are).

We need winter, though we could do without the snow. Father Winter’s job is to do something about all the over-wintering mosquito larvae. Without a good cold spell, our mosquito population becomes almost unbearable as early as March. You may remember from the 2014 birding recap that they were so bad on Christmas to have chased an entire family back into the relative comfort of an awaiting vehicle. Swarms of mosquitoes here can just be that bad.

On the upside, at least we don’t have malaria.

So for the last couple of months, this cute little guy has been hanging around the backyard nectar feeder, keeping all that sweet yummy sugar-water goodness pretty much all to himself. This video of the Rufous Hummingbird was actually shot last year, but this is exactly how we him even today, at squatting eye-level, right outside the living room window. There are no neighborhood cats around, so he’s really quite safe 3-feet off the ground.

Keeping his eye out for potential food thieves, though…

For another Rufous hummingbird video shot by me this time last year, go visit this past post: Bird of the Month: Rufous.

Migration of hummingbirds is an annual event here on the Gulf Coast, both in the spring (on their way up) and the fall (on their way down). We can’t wait to see it first hand in a couple of months!

The fall migration is the most fun for the kids as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird species always shows in amazing numbers on our backyard feeders. Note to readers: If you put out the feeders, they will come — even in the winter! These guys drink a lot of sugar-water though, friends, so if you can’t keep up with the feeder maintenance every few days, don’t even bother.

Homemade Nectar = 4 parts water + 1 part sugar, boiled 5 minutes, then cooled.

For another migration video shot by me in 2011, go visit this past post: Hummingbirds Tank Up.

How are you getting through the winter?

11 thoughts on “Brrrr…I Need Me Some Hummingbird Fluff

  1. Love those sweet little birds. We have a bunch here all year long. They feed next door because our dear Olivia stays vigilant at all times:-)

    Stay warm! Miss you! Hugs, Olga

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  2. Great post and video, Shannon; and good info too. We have the Anna’s in northern California year-round, and the Rufous can be seen in the warmer months. I like that deep buzz sound that the Rufous have in flight, and all the species are a pleasure to watch. 🙂

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    1. There is a great ‘Nature’ program that we saw on PBS some time back on the Anna’s Hummingbird. They discovered (with super-slow-mo) what made the ‘click’ sound as the male displayed for the female. It’s his tail feathers!!

      You are so blessed to have Anna’s. We’ve not seen them yet but hope to when we finally get out as a family to Big Bend National Park here in Texas. Glad you enjoyed our little cuties, Jet!

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  3. Aren’t they lucky little flutterers! My folks get them in the summers in droves. My mom filling four feeders twice a day in the thick of it. I don’t think she ever boils the sugar water though. Perhaps that’s why my feeder was never visited…

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    1. We keep the lone back porch feeder (the one we watch from the kitchen) half-filled year-round for stragglers. When the numbers come up, we have three more we put up in various locations. I think what boiling does is better dissolve the sugar solution so that is a true 4:1 mix through and through.

      It is dedication to keep feeders filled during the peak times. Our flutterers (tee hee!) drink more than a GALLON of solution every day in the fall. It’s like cooking for another family for a few weeks.

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