Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hummingbird Love

I took this photo through my kitchen window yesterday morning.

We have a hummingbird feeder suspended from the corner of our garden folly, and these two were putting on quite a show.

Did you know that hummingbirds mate in December and their babies will on the wing in February?

One small problem. This is not the tropics. This is the Pacific Northwest! The temperature was 21 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 6 Celsius) when I took this photo. And your eyes do not deceive you. That’s snow on the ground and on my neighbors’ rooftops.

We’ve increased the ratio of sugar to water in the feeder so it won’t freeze, and so these tiny, tiny creatures can get more energy.

Seems to be working because now we patiently await the next generation of little hummers!

This is so much more fun than TV.

Isn’t nature wonderful?

Until next time,


Gillian Layne said...

Happy first day of winter!

My mom loves hummingbirds! I had no idea of the timelines; to me that would be a spring time activity. It's kind of you to take care of them.

Lee McKenzie said...

I love having birds in our backyard. I even keep a small pair of binoculars and a bird identification book in the kitchen.

I guess you could call me a bird nerd ;)

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous photo, Lee!

I think someone in my neighbourhood has a feeder, because the hummingbirds visit my yard from time to time, taking advantage of the flowering currant or, for some reason, the fir tree. They're so delightful to watch!


Lee McKenzie said...

Rachel, your fir tree probably provides great shelter for hummingbirds. They might even nest in it.

Anonymous said...

Lee, it's inspirational to see a pair of anything mating on these frosty days. What folly (pun pun) but it is an optimistic sign that as of tomorrow the days start getting longer!
As soon as the snow lets me out of my driveway, I will shop for a similar feeder. I always like to encourage romance.

Lee McKenzie said...

Marion, you're sure to enjoy to enjoy having hummingbirds in your garden!

Having a feeder requires a little work, though. I bring mine inside once a week to give it a thorough cleaning and rto efill it.

To make the hummingbird nectar, mix one part white granulated sugar with four parts water and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it cool before filling the feeder.

My feeder has a perch around the edge. The hummingbirds actually land on it and stop fluttering, so it's possible to get a really good look at them.