Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hummingbird Update

It's been established that I love hummingbirds.

I love them because they're effortless and graceful and beautiful but, at the same time, they have great purpose, intensity, drive, and always seem to be in a race against time. While I aspire toward the former, I know I model the latter - it's just that sometimes I have difficulty getting there.

This is why I have placed hummingbird feeders in the dogwood tree outside my office window this summer. I am blessed with a VERY inspirational view where we routinely see our groundhog (sometimes he comes up to the window and sits back on his haunches but the second he detects movement he turns and runs as fast as his little groundhog butt will go), snakes, raccoons, etc.

In the two prior summers I've spent in that office, though, what has been most interesting to me are the hummingbirds. They are attracted to the large crepe myrtles that grow on the hill.

Now, I gotta tell you, I have run the gamut with feeders already. I attempted to use this gorgeous blown glass feeder that a dear friend gave me but no sooner had I gotten into the office than the nectar had drained out of the neck. As I've learned, that's a common problem associated with that type of feeder.

So I bought one at Home Depot - the cylindrical sort that works off a vacuum. That's tricky to make happen and, again, the varying degrees of success were short-lived and, almost overnight, the feeder would be drained of nectar. I think I mostly succeeded in confusing the poor little hummingbird who would fly by and be like, "Dude, wtf? Where's the damn nectar already?"

A co-worker told me about a feeder she'd bought from Wild Birds Unlimited and, after spending last weekend at my cousin's farm in Mississippi where she had at least 12 hummingbirds buzzing her deck all afternoon, I trounced right over and bought a new top-loading, lifetime warranty feeder and installed it after lunch yesterday. I also made my own nectar (1 part sugar to 4 parts water; boil to dissolve then let cool) and within an hour my hummingbird was feeding, perched on the little rail the feeder provides. He came back several times before I left. Ahh, feel good moment.

Next up on my mission: My Solid Glass Window, Your Wall Of Death - Hummingbird Suicide or Tragic Environmental Imposition?

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