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#364084 - 30/05/2015 18:19 Hummingbird Madness - 2015
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
For the past several days the hummingbirds have been going through 12 quarts (11.4 liters) of hummingbird nectar per day. The mix is 4:1 water to sugar by volume.

I missed out on a picture I really would have liked to get: Susitna, the girl cat and the huntress of the family, was standing on her hind legs on a table on the deck, stretching as far as she could but still a good meter below the feeders. I would caption the photo: "Why do they put these cat food dispensers so high off the ground?"

tanstaafl.


Attachments
Madness.jpg

Hitch-hiker.jpg


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#364086 - 30/05/2015 20:07 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13879
Loc: Canada
Wow!

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#364087 - 30/05/2015 21:55 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
jmwking
addict

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 681
Loc: Washington, DC metro
My mother had hummingbirds like that, and I got one to land on my finger. I'd brought all the feeders in to clean and refill. When I came back out, I sat down with the first in my hand. A brave - or foolhardy - hummingbird came in for a sip, and perched on my finger. The tiniest little prick. Quite amazing!

-jk

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#364088 - 31/05/2015 01:00 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
K447
addict

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 674
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Do I see another bird directly above number 50? Up above the inverted bottle...

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#364089 - 31/05/2015 01:32 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: K447]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: K447
Do I see another bird directly above number 50? Up above the inverted bottle...
Yes! I missed that one. Total now is 51. Thank you.

The bottles are up there to serve as ant traps. When necessary, I fill them with water. Incredibly, ants have scaled the wall of the house, walked across the brackets holding the awning, along the awning rail to find the wire holding the feeder, down the wire into the bottle (when it is empty) and up the inside wall of the bottle, down the bottle to the wire, and on to the feeder. Absolutely amazing.

tanstaafl.
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#364090 - 31/05/2015 17:12 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4147
Loc: Cambridge, England
Are the green ones and the blue-and-white ones different species, or is it sexual dimorphism?

Peter

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#364091 - 31/05/2015 22:21 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: peter]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: peter
Are the green ones and the blue-and-white ones different species, or is it sexual dimorphism?
I am no hummingbird expert, in fact I know virtually nothing about them except that they seem to like my feeders. smile However, since there are 58 known species of hummingbirds in Mexico, those are probably different species.

Note that the colorful ones generally appear black until they are strongly illuminated (the pictures were shot with strobe) at which point they iridesce.

tanstaafl.
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#364092 - 31/05/2015 23:02 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
jmwking
addict

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 681
Loc: Washington, DC metro
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
Originally Posted By: K447
Do I see another bird directly above number 50? Up above the inverted bottle...
Yes! I missed that one. Total now is 51. Thank you.

The bottles are up there to serve as ant traps. When necessary, I fill them with water. Incredibly, ants have scaled the wall of the house, walked across the brackets holding the awning, along the awning rail to find the wire holding the feeder, down the wire into the bottle (when it is empty) and up the inside wall of the bottle, down the bottle to the wire, and on to the feeder. Absolutely amazing.

tanstaafl.


My mother had similar ant traps - she spiked them with dish detergent though. That made them much slower to evaporate, and the ants couldn't float across the moat.

It was a fun few years taking care of them. Do you have any territorially aggressive ones? We'd get one now and again that would try to chase the rest off. Too many feeders, so ultimately a futile effort...

-jk

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#364094 - 01/06/2015 12:44 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: jwmking
Do you have any territorially aggressive ones?
Once the Spring and Summer crowd reaches critical mass, no. There are too many birds to even try and chase away. In the Fall and Winter, I only put out two feeders, sometimes only one, and instead of going through 13.5 quarts of nectar like I did yesterday, total consumption drops to less than a single quart per day. At that point, I sometimes get what is called a Bully Bird.

That situation does not prevail. Remedy.

That is a spring-powered* pistol that shoots a plastic pellet weighing .12 grams, or about three ten-thousandths of an ounce. Nonetheless, that is about 1% of the hummingbird's body weight and the impact is severe enough that when hit, the hummingbird flies away and does not return. Well, one of them did, but I suspect that the first hit was just a grazing blow that disturbed his feathers and little else.

Even though this is a non-fatal procedure, I was banned for life from a popular home and garden website for telling them my bully-bird solution. Go figure.

According to what I have read, a hummingbird will drink twice its 12 gram weight in nectar per day. If I am going through 12 quarts of nectar per day (13.5 yesterday!) that would feed, uhhh, let's see. 12 quarts, 32 ounces per quart... no, wait a minute, that's 32 ounces of water per quart, the nectar is heavier, 36.6 ounces per quart. So, 12 quarts, 36.6 ounces per quart = 439 ounces or 12,429 grams. That's more than 500 different hummingbirds per day at my feeders. In this case, a "day" is 14 hours (6:45am until 8:45pm), so the feeders on average are hosting 35 birds at any given time.

tanstaafl.

*The pellet is actually propelled by air. The spring is compressed when you cock the gun, and it pushes air through a chamber, propelling the pellet when the spring is released by the trigger.
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#364102 - 01/06/2015 20:53 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
jmwking
addict

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 681
Loc: Washington, DC metro
Nice solution. (And I get why that site banned you...)

My mom used similar techniques in her never-ending siege warfare with the squirrels! Usually involving either an (effective) wrist-braced slingshot or a pellet gun. (Both firing much more massive ammo for much more massive animals!)

Yeah, she got her kicks battling nature... (She also told a really great story about beheading chickens as a kid with a .22 - until one jumped at just the wrong moment and was blown to smithereens. Oops! That one's not dinner...)

-jk

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#364152 - 10/06/2015 00:04 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
For the past several days the hummingbirds have been going through 12 quarts (11.4 liters) of hummingbird nectar per day.


I'm now up to over 15 quarts (14 liters) per day.

If you zoom in closely on the picture, you can find a few more birds, but they are too far away to count.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
P1090218 Count61-W2100.jpg


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#364199 - 19/06/2015 00:20 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: mlord]
snowcrash
journeyman

Registered: 11/07/2013
Posts: 63
Originally Posted By: mlord
Wow!

Really! Jealous. I can't decide if H-birds are my Number 1 fave bird or Number 2 or 3. The competition is tough. Jealous.

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#364251 - 25/06/2015 22:34 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Beautiful pictures! smile
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#364252 - 26/06/2015 00:26 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
I'm now up to over 15 quarts (14 liters) per day.
New record: 17.5 quarts.

I always pull the feeders in before these guys get too carried away.

Note that he is not perched on the feeder. They dip their tongues into those tiny holes as they fly past. They can't hover like a hummingbird, but they do come to a brief, perhaps a quarter second, near stop as they feed.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
Bandit.jpg

Description: Bird Feeder Bandit


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#364262 - 26/06/2015 10:03 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1477
Loc: Arizona
That is awesome.

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#364286 - 27/06/2015 01:35 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
snowcrash
journeyman

Registered: 11/07/2013
Posts: 63
Nice. Nice.

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#364294 - 27/06/2015 12:59 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
That hummingbird is very dark. What did you put in the food?!
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#364295 - 27/06/2015 12:59 Re: Hummingbird Madness - 2015 [Re: tanstaafl.]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
(Just wonderful picture)
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