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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hummingbirds are On Their Way, Dig out Those Feeders



Even if you think it is too early for hummingbirds, put up your feeder now. If you have a feeder out when they arrive, there is a better chance a hummingbird will stick around and nest in your area.
Though it depends on the weather, those of us in the northeast can expect hummingbirds to make an appearance around April. The southern U.S. welcomes them back as early as February, in central U.S. it is in March, for Canada and Alaska it is May.

Hummingbird feeders range from simple plastic to really cool glass art. It is best if there is a splash of red somewhere on the feeder to attract them, eliminating the need for the addition of artificial red dyes to the sugar water. It's not needed and better safe than sorry in offering anything that could be harmful.
  
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Try to pay attention to keeping your feeder stocked.
Hummingbirds will start eating every morning about a half hour before the sun rises and will stop every day about a half  hour after dark. They will eat 25% of their daily intake of food during the first hour they are awake, and take in a bunch more nutrients like food and nectar just before they go to sleep.

At the end of the summer season hummingbirds will migrate, but keep your feeders up until you have not seen them for two weeks. There are always stragglers and with dropping night time temperatures you want to have available nourishment to help them prepare for their long journey.

The departure periods are weather dependent, but generally, hummingbirds will start leaving in the fall (northern hemisphere time) as early as August way up toward Canada and Alaska, September in the upper portions of the United States, October for the middle United States, and November in the southern part of the United States.

                            Some hummingbird attracting plants

Pineapple Sage, a tender perennial
Scarlet Runner Bean, an annual
  
BeeBalm, a perennial    
Beardlip Penstemon, a perennial