First, let me say that we live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania so we usually only attract Ruby-throat hummingbirds. We start by putting out our first feeder(s) around April 15th and usually see our first visitors in about 2 or 3 weeks. We use dish type feeders for a couple of reasons, one because they are easy to clean and refill, two there is no bottle to block your view in case a hummingbird lands on the side you can’t see. It is extremely important to keep your feeders clean and fresh. We clean and refill ours every 3 to 4 days and if it is real hot maybe sooner. We fill our feeders with a mixture of one part sugar and four parts water with no coloring. Some people boil the water but we do not. We clean our feeders with a sponge, vinegar and warm water.
As for plants we have tried many and have had a few that work better for us than others. Salvia – black and blue seems to be our best with the Cardinal Climber a close second. We also have had good success with Lobelia Cardinalis ( Queen Victoria ) and a yellow honeysuckle called John Clayton. The lobelia needs a lot of water and honeysuckle can have aphid problems. So for now our best bet would be the Salvia – black and blue and the Cardinal Climber. The salvia we have in a container on our deck and also in our flower bed. The Cardinal Climber we grow from seed in a large container with a trellis.
Last year we also tried Agastache – Tuti Fruti and Salvia – Wendy’s Wish. They both worked pretty well. We found out if you keep your feeders clean, full and give the hummingbirds some good plants to feed from they will come back year after year. This coming season we’re thinking of trying Cuphea ignea – cigar plant for the first time because we have read it’s a good hummingbird attracting plant.
Just like clock work, the first or second week of September our hummingbirds leave. We keep our feeders up for a couple of weeks and there are still plants blooming for the hummingbirds migrating through.
A couple other thoughts we have are if you are sitting outside watching your hummingbirds the least amount of movement will help them get used to you being there. Also, if you put up more than one feeder they should not be within eye sight of each other. The reason for this is because this type of hummingbird is very territorial and they spent a lot of time chasing each other away from the feeders.
This Lena Liu “Garden Jewels” table lamp would be a great gift for someone who loves hummingbirds or would be very pretty sitting on a table somewhere in your own home.
Lamp: Garden Jewels Lena Liu Hummingbird Lamp
Limited edition and an exclusive from The Bradford Exchange, the beautiful artwork of award winning artist, Lena Liu. Her floral design and hummingbird are featured on the fabric lampshade. The hand-sculpted lamp base has fuchsia blossoms, and pretty purple flowers on wisteria vine. There’s a tiny hummingbird nest with two baby hummingbirds in it. Two ruby-throated hummingbird parents are tending the nest. Has mahogany-finished base and sculpted bronze finished hummingbird and blossom finial. Stands almost 1-1/2 feet high.
It’s that time of year when you might want to start thinking about ornaments for your Christmas tree. If you like hummingbirds or even just the idea of decorating your tree with a bird or wildlife theme, below is a porcelain hummingbird Christmas ornament that you might like.
Porcelain hummingbird Christmas ornament Animal Den
Pretty white porcelain Christmas ornament measures approximately 2 1/8 inches wide x 3 3/8 inches tall x 7/8 inches deep. It features a full color image of a hummingbird on both the front and back of ornament.
Our final hummingbird sighting for this year, 2014 was September 14th. That’s one day earlier than last year. For the most part, we had as many visitors as in previous years except our early and nesting time sightings seemed to be less.
We were able to get what we think are fairly good pictures with our new camera lens but found out it’s not very easy to get good pictures of moving hummingbirds. Now that we have some experience taking pictures of these little birds that won’t sit still, we’re hoping to be able to get even better pictures next year.
Below are a couple of hummingbird pictures we haven’t posted yet that we took this year.
This is a picture of our Agastache ‘Tutti Frutti’ and a hummingbird that we took through the railing of our deck. This year was the first time we’ve had this type of Agastache and the hummingbirds used it often. Agastache ruspestris – licorice mint is the type we’ve had for the last 3 or 4 years but sadly it didn’t make it through our last winter.
We have this plant in one of our flower beds and hopefully it will survive the coming cold season. It seems to us that the hummingbirds were attracted to the ‘Tutti Frutti’ more than the licorice mint.
Below are a couple pictures we took a few days ago of hummingbirds and our Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. This is the first year we’ve had this plant. We live in an area where ‘Wendy’s Wish’ would be an annual so we’ll try and overwinter it in our garage. Hopefully, it will survive. All the young hummingbirds seem to be liking all our plants this year and most of the older birds spend most of their time at our feeder.
As mentioned in our last post we also have the Cardinal Climber and the Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ on our deck along with the ‘Wendy’s Wish.’ They all seem to get a lot of attention. Hopefully we’ll get some more pictures before they go home in the next few weeks.
Here’s a few hummingbird pictures we took the last couple of days while sitting on our deck near the three potted plants we’ve grown to attract hummingbirds. The three are the cardinal climber and salvia’s – Wendy’s Wish & Black and Blue. This is one of our first attempts trying to photograph them while flying and turns out to be more difficult then we thought.
All three of the plants are proving to be quite popular with them. This is the first time we’ve grown Wendy’s Wish. We really like it and so do the hummingbirds. This year was also the first time we’ve planted Agastache – Tutti Frutti. We planted it in our flower bed around the deck and the hummingbirds like it too. Hopefully more and better pictures are yet to come.
Our first hummingbird sighting for 2014 was Tuesday, May 6th three days earlier than last year. The first arrival was a male ruby throat and the first female came one week later. We saw them for about a week or so then sightings became very scarce until this weekend.
It’s common for our hummingbirds to disappear for a few weeks at the end of May to the middle of June for nesting. They still visit but it’s only early and late in the day and for very short periods of time.
Below are a couple pictures of a hummingbird we took today with the new camera lens we talked about in a previous post. They didn’t turn out too bad considering they were shot through the glass of our storm door.