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Hummers for me

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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 04:08   #1
CBSlayer2004
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Hummers for me

I just put up a Hummer feeder and wonder what else attracts them. Recently I've seen some at the vines with tiny, red trumpet looking flowers. But what else attracts them.
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 07:15   #2
Katy Penland
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I'd say just be patient for a few days, give the birds a chance to find your feeder. Unfortunately I can't help you with suggestions on what plants work best for hummers in your particular area but I'm sure someone will be along shortly who can.

And this may be a dumb question, but do hummers stay resident in Georgia year-round? It seems like it's really late in the year to be attracting them, but perhaps they're in the southeast all the time...?
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 19:07   #3
humminbird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBSlayer2004
I just put up a Hummer feeder and wonder what else attracts them. Recently I've seen some at the vines with tiny, red trumpet looking flowers. But what else attracts them.
I always recommend working with a garden first, then worrying about feeders as a supplement to that garden. This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get when giving programs on hummingbirds, and one that gets the same answer repeatedly.

Wherever possible, use a large splash of colorful (in the spring red is important, once the birds are in your garden almost any color as long as it looks like food to them will do) flowering plants to get their attention. One that works well in the southeast, I believe, is firespike, but I am not from that region so I really can not comment on particular species. Some of the non-natives I see mentioned often are shrimp plant, cupheas (the David variety is quite well spoken of). I would recommend a great book, Nancy Newfield from Louisiana is one of the authors, "Hummingbird Gardening" for further suggestions.

A few general recommendations I make:
A native plant is going to generally be less headaches for you than is an exotic
Look for plants that have a long bloom period and
Use the clustering method to produce more color in a single splash

Without further description I can not identify the vine you mention, but could it be Coral Honeysuckle?

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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 19:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBSlayer2004
I just put up a Hummer feeder and wonder what else attracts them. Recently I've seen some at the vines with tiny, red trumpet looking flowers. But what else attracts them.
One more note. I focussed on the food plants above, but please do not forget the importance of shelter for these birds. Your best hummingbird gardens will always have plenty of thick shelter that these birds can get into.

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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 19:13   #5
humminbird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy Penland
And this may be a dumb question, but do hummers stay resident in Georgia year-round? It seems like it's really late in the year to be attracting them, but perhaps they're in the southeast all the time...?
Not being from Georgia, I will not speak definitively on this one Katy, but looking at the distribution of where I have seen reports of late season and Christmas hummingbirds on HUMNET (LSU List Serve for Hummingbird Information) my assumption would be "probably". They have been found in the Carolinas, and even, at least one year, for several months running in New Jersey over the winter months.

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Old Sunday 14th November 2004, 23:41   #6
jigsawyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBSlayer2004
I just put up a Hummer feeder and wonder what else attracts them. Recently I've seen some at the vines with tiny, red trumpet looking flowers. But what else attracts them.
When we lived in Westminster (Orannge County, about 6 miles SW of Disneyland) the Hummers loved both Lantana and Red Shrimp Plant. We moved to SE Texas late last year, and the new house already had Lantana (the red & orange variety). We've planted both red and yellow Shrimp plant (the red seems to grow much faster) but have seen few Hummers.
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Old Monday 15th November 2004, 00:11   #7
Katy Penland
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Originally Posted by jigsawyer
When we lived in Westminster (Orannge County, about 6 miles SW of Disneyland) the Hummers loved both Lantana and Red Shrimp Plant. We moved to SE Texas late last year, and the new house already had Lantana (the red & orange variety). We've planted both red and yellow Shrimp plant (the red seems to grow much faster) but have seen few Hummers.
Don't be too discouraged. This year wasn't a very good year for hummers in many parts of the US. I usually put up 3 feeders, and this year only put up 2 for a couple of weeks and then only 1 for the rest of the season. Numbers way down. They'll hopefully be back in full force next spring! Miss their battling little beaks!
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Old Monday 15th November 2004, 03:17   #8
humminbird
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Jigsawyer:
Where are you in SE Texas? I can probably recommend a few other plants that will work well there.
Like Katy said, a lot of areas had a low hummer turn out this year - probably because there was a great wildflower bloom. I am confident they are still there and I am hearing from a lot of people that have them in their yards NOW in south east TX. There is currently a Broad-billed in North West Houston!
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