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Hummingbirds & gardens

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on April 30, 2008

I took time to enjoy my hummingbirds today. There is a real cute little girl bird that has been lucky enough to fend off the boy who guards all the feeders and keep others away. Twice this week she has shown up on different days with a definitely ‘heavy load’. I haven’t tracked her to the nest, but I’m sure by tonite there are at least two eggs in it. I have four feeders in the front of the house and one in the back. The ones in the front are the domain of a very large male and he swoops in to chase the others off if the encroach on his territory. Last week, my son had the misfortune to walk through the war zone (our front sidewalk) and get smacked upside the head by one of the hummers. In addition to the feeders, there are a lot of flowers out that the hummingbirds enjoy (and the deer). So far, the geraniums seem to be non-edible to the deer and the rose vine. No such luck for the mums, zinnias or marigolds. What the deer don’t devour, the slugs have suddenly decided to attack. Mostly, they are eating the petunias. They will all gang up on one overnight, the next day the entire plant is gone. We didn’t have this problem last year. Every year it is different. (except for the deer).

Tomorrow I will try once again to find tomatillos and cilantro for my herb and vegetable garden, no such luck yet unless I want to try by seed (which I don’t). My mulberries are in full fruit and I’m having to fight the birds for the fruit. This year, I should get at least two quarts from one tree (at the rate I’m eating them, that may be optimistic. I’m not sure about the newest tree, it leaved out very well but I didn’t see much flowering. My blackberries are doing fabulous this year, but I’ll have a fight with the local wildlife in getting them in. Maybe it needs a year. I love the gardens and all the herbs, fruits, veggies that I harvest; but I’m sure by the end of the year I’ll be sick of them.


One Response to “Hummingbirds & gardens”

  1. In general, hummingbirds mate and nest during the times of year when flower blossoms are abundant. In tropical areas, where food is available year round, the breeding season is less predictable.

    Another thing to consider when trying to find a hummingbird nest is that it is important to look near a water source. Humidity is important to ensure the development of the embryo inside the egg. It is because of this that hummingbirds prefer to build near rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Many species also choose to nest near a reliable food supply, so the birds are looking for there to be abundant blossoms in the area. At the same time, the nest will be protected from rainfall and direct sunlight, thus making it likely to be tucked away and difficult to spot.

    Female hummingbirds check the strength of a prospective nest site by clinging to it or repeatedly landing on it. If the site passes the test, a female will begin to build. The nest will be built on the underside of a palm leaf, on the side of a vertical plant stem, on a small branch, on top of a cactus or many other different locations are used and different species have different preferences. Tipically, hummingbirds usually build on branches, but the hermit hummingbirds build nests that hang from vegetation or from a vertical plant stem, root, or rock.

    A hummingbird usually lays two white eggs, which are no bigger than peanuts, which hatch within 12 to 14 days after being laid. The young fledge in 18 to 20 days. Hungry nestlings may be seen reaching for the food teir mother has brought; the chicks open their mouths in response to air currents created by the beating of her wings. Between three and four weeks after hatching, the young leave the nest and are on their own.

    If you would like much more information about hummingbirds, please click the link below. The site contains many articles about hummingbirds, video clips about hummingbirds, an informative tips booklet on hummingbirds, and much more.

    Click Here To Visit About Hummingbirds

    Happy hummingbird watching everyone!

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