This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
March 3rd, 2008


Fred showed up. A day early, but I'm sure male hummingbirds don't keep much track of when Leap Day occurs. We have no proof of course that the bird peering in our back sliding door is Fred. On the other hand, we don't have any proof he isn't either. And he showed up on time, again.

We do know he expected the hummingbird feeder to be in place. He hovered exactly where it is (now) and then came back to the door. The message could not have been any clearer. JC headed out the garage door to grab the wrought iron Shepard's crook which was stored in the garage for the winter. I headed for the kitchen. It took less than five minutes to have the syrup made up. It went outside to cool and then into the feeder. I must say we sure work well together.

Here's the recipe for the syrup, this is one from our local 'bird lady' who has a weekly column in the local paper. She recommends using a 'sweeter' mix for the first month the birds come back and then cutting the sugar back for the rest of the season. The idea is the birds are weakened after their long trip and need the extra to help them build their strength back up. We start out with one–third of a cup of sugar and fill the cup to the one cup mark with hot water. Then put in the micro wave for two minutes. This dissolves the sugar and brings it to a boil, which will help keep it from going sour. If you see your syrup getting cloudy in the feeder, throw the syrup away, and wash the feeder. (We rinse ours with bleach to kill any possible mold too.) After the first month, cut the sugar back to one quarter cup. Also, do NOT use any food coloring in your feeders. It is not good for the birds and they already found the feeder so they don't need color for an attractant, right?

We did put up a "Fred stick." I know, we just have to name things. Hummingbirds want to have an observation point. It can be a bush or high in a tree, but a place where they can see their food source and I suppose protect it. The local birds seem to like the natural bamboo growing in the yard we use for stakes too.

Fred Stick

Hummingbirds are an absolute wonderment. One of Gods greatest hits in our household. We don't have as many Hummers as we did in Montana. We lived on Flathead Lake, and there were several cherry orchards in the area. We had three feeders and had to refill them a couple times a day.

Right at dusk the hummers would be stacked up waiting for a place to feed. A marvelous thing to see. We have a few books on the hummers, but still know so very little about them.

Neil Travis, who writes the From a Journal By...column here, spends part of his time in Arizona volunteering for banding of the migrating hummingbirds. Considering the size of those birds, what a job that must be. Perhaps we can talk him into telling us about it.

The day after Fred showed up, JC came in from outside and commented he had heard a frog. We have several kinds of frogs here, including some who take refuge along the top (inside) of our hot tub. Tree frogs? The color is outstanding too – it changes.

Hope you have enjoyed a little of our spring here on the West Coast. If you have any tales you would like to share, drop me an email. ~ The LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

Archive of Ladyfisher Articles

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice