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Hummingbird Haven

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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 05:56   #1
Casey Ryan
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Hummingbird Haven

We started feeding hummingbirds probably 14 years ago. We had no idea how many hummingbirds were actually in the area but had to continue increasing the number of feeders each year until we now have 19 during our peak season. You can view a couple of videos about them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnilCBVyeLg
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRDrZHlJPUs

I was reading, with interest, about yellow jackets in a thread from August. I guess those are pretty aggressive and would need to be dealt with. This year we had a nest of bald faced hornets build a nest about 4 feet from our cluster of feeders. I didn't realize when it started how big that nest would get! It's now about the size of a football. After conferring with the state entomologist (bug person), I decided to leave it and see how it went. There are usually no more than a few at a time on the feeders and they haven't bothered us or the hummers too much. In fact, they are supposed to be somewhat beneficial in that they can eat many of the less desirable bugs that are out in our trees. As we have been under attack for several years by bark beetle and now a couple of different types of scale, I'm rooting for the hornets hoping that they will work on these bugs! So far so good. I'm hoping that they will run their course without stinging us or any of our guests as they apparently die out with the cold, the queen then going dormant underground or in a tree somewhere... I could post some pictures of the hornets if any one is interested and show their proximity to the hummingbird feeders.

Last edited by Casey Ryan : Friday 21st September 2007 at 06:00.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 15:04   #2
Lisa W
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Casey,
19 feeders must keep you hopping during peak season! I would like to see a picture of the hornets - if you don't mind. My biggest problem seems to be ants on the feeder, but that is solved by a quick shot of Pam.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 15:47   #3
Casey Ryan
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Casey,
19 feeders must keep you hopping during peak season! I would like to see a picture of the hornets - if you don't mind. My biggest problem seems to be ants on the feeder, but that is solved by a quick shot of Pam.
Lisa
Yes, 19 feeders is a lot and we need to refill them daily. It's funny tho, that my wife and I both jump in there to fill them and sometimes argue about who gets to do it! You have to love it or it's not possible...

I am attaching a picture that shows how close this hornets' nest is to the feeders. Most of the hummers are gone but we still do have some and the last will be here for probably a couple more weeks. I just started noticing yesterday during a rain storm and this morning, while it's nice and cool, that the hornets seem to be more active. Hope I'm not taking a chance on them. But the nest is so beautiful and they haven't been a bother so far... This morning they were chasing some of the hummers away but I see that the hummers are back to eating so so far so good...

http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...ry.php?cat=525
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 17:30   #4
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Casey,
That is close, to close for me in fact. You're braver than I would have been.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 18:38   #5
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Wow. And such a nice classy dialogue. Well done.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 19:33   #6
Casey Ryan
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Wow. And such a nice classy dialogue. Well done.
ha! Thanks... It was fun. Those little guys bring us pleasure in many ways...
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 19:35   #7
Casey Ryan
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Casey,
That is close, to close for me in fact. You're braver than I would have been.
Lisa
It's a calculated risk based on talking to the state entomolgist and reading about them. These particular guys, far as I can tell, aren't really know for attacking. And I've been right up close to them many times.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 19:43   #8
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Casey,
That is close, to close for me in fact. You're braver than I would have been.
Lisa
Hi, Lisa,
I had missed your link before. Nice pictures! Looks like we have a lot of the same birds. I particularly like the Acorn Woodpecker which we don't have. That area of Arizona is famous for birds. We were heading down there last fall but didn't make it past the Gila Wilderness. We will, tho, for sure. Where is the best place to go? We were headed for the Chiricahuas.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 20:07   #9
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Hi Casey where in New Mexico are you ? i am just over the border in Window Rock AZ and the hummers are mostly gone , i have seen only two all week ?
i was in Farmington for July and August and noted quite often the yellow jackets would chase off the hummers !!
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 20:25   #10
Casey Ryan
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Hi Casey where in New Mexico are you ? i am just over the border in Window Rock AZ and the hummers are mostly gone , i have seen only two all week ?
i was in Farmington for July and August and noted quite often the yellow jackets would chase off the hummers !!
I just outside Santa Fe up in the foothills. We still have probably a dozen or so hummers. We have some that will probably be here until early October and then that will be the end of it. They arrived early this year. About March 25th. Endured snow storms and the cold. Amazing little creatures...

What kind of bird is that that you are using for your avatar? Beautiful...

Last edited by Casey Ryan : Friday 21st September 2007 at 20:26. Reason: forgot a question
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 20:34   #11
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European Bee- eater my favourite bird . They are not only brightly coloured , but they are big time migrants in small flocks which you can ofter hear high up but not always see.
what time of year do you see Calliope Hummers on migration ? i seem to have missed seeing them ?
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2007, 02:19   #12
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Casey,
Thanks. I must hang my head in shame, and admit to never having birded the Chiricuahas.
I am a little bit further west in the Huachuca's and have found plenty to keep me occupied close to home.
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2007, 14:58   #13
Casey Ryan
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Casey,
Thanks. I must hang my head in shame, and admit to never having birded the Chiricuahas.
I am a little bit further west in the Huachuca's and have found plenty to keep me occupied close to home.
Lisa
Well, hey, when it's good, it's good! I guess we need to head for the Huachucas, then... There are so many beautiful areas to go, we can say the same up here. There are places within our wilderness areas that I have yet to trek to. The cool thing is leaves places to look forward to!
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Old Saturday 22nd September 2007, 15:01   #14
Casey Ryan
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European Bee- eater my favourite bird . They are not only brightly coloured , but they are big time migrants in small flocks which you can ofter hear high up but not always see.
what time of year do you see Calliope Hummers on migration ? i seem to have missed seeing them ?
The calliopes come a bit later than the others and then leave earlier. It's a real treat to have them here as many people say it's their first time seeing them. Plus they are cute little boogers with the flames shooting off their gorgets.
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