Monday, August 30, 2010

Hummer Reports Coming In

Marylyn Ponder and myself (otherwise known as the "The Happy Gardeners") have been busy planning a garden party to welcome the Ruby-throated hummingbirds to her "El Jardin de Colores" garden here in Brownsville, Texas. In the process I'm starting to get hummingbird sighting reports from friends! How neat is that?


  • Diane in Maine - Sunday, Aug. 22 - Hummers are feeding constantly. must be getting ready for their long journey. You will see them soon.
 

  • Marylou shared her photos above - will check to find out when & where she took them - looks like a male Allen hummingbird but those aren't listed in our range.

  • Rosalinda - has to start over - she made up her hummingbird syrup for her feeders and was letting her pan cool when someone came along and emptied it not knowing what it was. Gotta git em filled quick or see what happens.

  • Lauran, West Brownsville -  Monday, Aug. 30. 10:10 AM - I probably have about ten hummers that are regulars. I have two of Dr. J.B.'s hummingbird feeders up. I see them all day--all buff-bellied--they chase each other like crazy and then take a guzzle out of the feeder and then chase each other again. It is one of my greatest enjoyments...they're just so beautiful!!!

  • Lauran, West Brownsville - Monday, Aug. 30, 7:38 PM - Just wanted to let you know that I have now seen the ruby-throated hummers.....there are about 4 in my yard that I can see....now I have both buff-bellied and ruby-throated! Know you appreciate these sightings!

  • Oh, I do. Love to hear more.

  • If you don't have your hummingbird feeders up yet, there is still time to set them up and keep them filled. Marylyn recommends getting ones that include a perch for the hummers to rest on. See recipe in previous blog to make up your hummingbird feeder.

 

  • For those of you who don't know where Brownsville is, it's the Tail End of Texas - as far South as you can go in Texas before going into Mexico the southernmost tip of Texas.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Modern Day Joyas Voladoras

Photographs of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds courtesy of Marylyn Ponder.

According to website howstuffworks.com/hummingbird

When early Spanish explorers first encountered hummingbirds in the New World, they called them joyas voladoras--or "flying jewels."

As a social media newbie, my gardener friend Marylyn Ponder advised me the steps to take to get these “flying jewel” hummingbirds to SHARE and LIKE your garden site.

Best Spots for Hummers – Find us on *Yelp

How?
1. You are going to put a hummingbird feeder out so as the first hummingbirds arrive they will "Twitter, Email, Blog or Yelp” to let their compadres know where the good feeders are (active full feeders, not the ones that you left hanging on the pole since May with dried sugar water).

2. Once the hummers arrive, you need to be prepared to boil your sugar water (hummingbird feeder mixture) every 2 or 3 days as the need occurs. Check and fill your feeders as they may run out in a 24 hour period and clean and change them every 2 days. If possible, you already have a garden with hummingbird friendly plants but know they are definitely going to go for the feeders.

Why is That?
This is a crucial time for hummers. They’ve gotta tank up before any major weather change that would adversely affect them, like northers or cold weather. Feeders should be up in time for their arrival.

When & Where?
The hummingbirds are on a time schedule; they aren’t dawdling around - not like the easy going butterfly, flitting from flower to flower. The hummers are on a mission. They have a schedule to keep. This tiny little bird migrates to Mexico every fall and then returns every spring, sometimes traveling as far as 2000 miles. Some do stay around but the majority of them don’t.

Who?
Hummers have a good memory; they can remember food sources from previous years. Well they sure remember Marylyn’s garden “Jardin de Colores.” There were so many of them whirring around in the spring this year, I couldn’t count ‘em all. As many or more than in this UTube: 2007 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

To learn more, click Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and migration,

For those of you like me, are new to Social Media, you may not have heard of Yelp (and I don’t mean my dog Herbie’s yelp).

*Yelp
*Yelp is a local reviews website. Users write and read reviews about anything from their favorite hole in the wall restaurant to the worst downtown club (or best hummingbird feeder location). It was founded in 2004 by two former PayPal employees and was named from a contraction of the Yellow Pages. Yelp offers social networking features: the ability to add friends, groups, events, talk in forums or message contacts. The idea behind this is that users will trust their friend’s reviews more than others.

Recipe for Homemade Hummingbird Mixture

• 1 part sugar (not honey) Don't use honey/artificial sweeteners in place of sugar.
• 4 parts water
• Boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool.
• Store extra in refrigerator

Marylyn and I are planning a celebration of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration on Saturday, September 11, 2010 in her garden. Details will soon be posted.

To be ready for the migration, I’m going to go get some hummingbird feeders. What are your plans? _______________________