I’ve fed the hummingbirds for years, and typically I watch for the male to arrive around Mother’s Day. Males arrive first, then the female comes a few days later.
The male lets me know he’s arrived by buzzing my front windows where the feeder is usually located if I haven’t yet put it out. He hovers within a foot of the window, looking toward the window as if to say, “HEY LADY!”. I find this nothing short of amazing considering that this tiny little bird just finished his trek from the Gulf. Nature can be so phenomenal.
A Twitter friend just tweeted a tracking map that the hummers have already been sited in the area as well as north of here. I guess the warm weather has encouraged them to fly north much earlier than usual. I’ll have to watch for my little guy to return.
I lived in Tucson for a period of time and thoroughly enjoyed the various hummers that live there year-round. Here in central Ohio, we only see the Ruby-throated hummingbird. In Tucson, there were more varieties. I especially enjoyed the tiny Anna’s and Costa’s hummingbirds. The photos in these links don’t do justice to the awesome brilliance of the feathers in the sun.
If you normally feed hummers, you may want to start watching for them to appear. If you haven’t fed hummers in the past and want to start attracting them, I’ve been told that you must put feeders out before they arrive so you can capture them early. They’re very territorial and “protect” their feeder, so you might be able to attract the younger ones who are looking for their own territorial feeder.
- For food, I use ¼ cup of sugar to 1 cup of hot water. No food color is necessary.
- Ants and hornets are likely to become a problem. Check out Wild Birds Unlimited for a plastic ‘gizmo’ that hangs above the feeder with a sticky ant repellent in it. It worked very well. For the hornets, there are bee guards, but I’ve found the hornets still buzz around trying to capture the sugar water.
- There are several plants that hummingbirds really like. They like the red tube flowers, especially fuchsias, if you have a place to hang them. Wild Birds can help you select flowers.
- There are two Wild Birds Unlimited stores that I visit. One is in Dublin on Riverside Dr and the other is in Westerville on State Street.