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Hummers visit the feeders, but don't feed?

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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 19:08   #1
Fraulein ash
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Hummers visit the feeders, but don't feed?

Hello from NY state! We really love our hummers here and we're novice birders, still learning the ropes. I often see hummingbirds around our feeders but more often than not, they don't stop to feed at them. Why? I watch them zip and zoom from one corner of the yard to another.. often "checking in" to see if the feeders are still there, but not drinking. They know the location of all 3 feeders. Everything is fresh and I read up abt placement to ensure they are in good spots, outside of direct sun and with nearby shrubs/branches for hiding if they feel the need. Seems odd that they would fly all the way over here just to "look" at them, LOL!
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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 19:18   #2
MeInDallas
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Are you using that store bought red stuff, or do you make your own sugar water mix? I learned a hard lesson about that. Here in my area, Dallas Texas, they just wont drink it. Mix 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup of sugar and stir until crystal clear. Change every few days. Try that if you havent already.
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Old Monday 25th June 2018, 12:26   #3
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We tried the store bought stuff last year and never saw ANY hummingbirds, so this year we looked up the recipe online, which is the same as what you're explaining here. Except ours is 4 cups of water to one cup of sugar, so it's just a bigger portion of the same recipe.
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Old Monday 25th June 2018, 15:10   #4
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Not sure why they are not feeding then. Is it possible that someone close to you has a big garden with fresh blooming flowers maybe on the other side of your fence?

Also, try going down to just one feeder, and put it right where you can see it. I have mine hanging about 12 inches away from my window in the back of my house. Are yours far away from where youre watching? I would try something different and see what happens. I never noticed how much activity mine really had until I moved it close to the window like that.
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Old Monday 25th June 2018, 21:03   #5
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Well, there's a junk yard *directly* next door (closest to the feeders), but there are some houses maybe 1/4 mile down the road in the opposite direction that have some nice flowers. As far as them coming to our yard and checking out the feeders but not eating... no, there's nothing directly next to us that would be more appealing to them. (That I know of?)

Are they scared of us?? It almost seems like they're coming to feed but they see us and fly away. That seems odd to me, considering there was a green & purple one the other day that flew right in front of my face and danced, then flew right in front of my BF's face and did the same dance before he flew away. He didn't seem at all afraid of us, and that's when I decided to go and read up abt them. I have read that they are typically not afraid of humans, but maybe that's depending on the species? I keep seeing the black/grey ones and occasionally a green, which I know doesn't really help with ID.

ETA~ The reason we have several feeders is because I read that they can be extremely aggressive and sort of "guard" it, so to combat this, I read that it is wise to place another feeder out of direct sight of the other one. The 3rd feeder is just because we really love them and hoped more would come if we did that.

Last edited by Fraulein ash : Monday 25th June 2018 at 21:05. Reason: adding info
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Old Tuesday 17th July 2018, 16:54   #6
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I'm curious if your hummingbird issue has normalized yet? I'm having tons of them here in my area now. Have things gotten any better?
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Old Tuesday 17th July 2018, 18:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeInDallas View Post
I'm curious if your hummingbird issue has normalized yet? I'm having tons of them here in my area now. Have things gotten any better?

Yes!! I never figured out *why* they were doing this, but shortly after I posted, they started feeding again. They only acted like this for a few days before they resumed feeding... maybe I messed up a batch of their sugar water? I don't see how, because it's an easy recipe, but maybe it spoiled faster or something? I may never know!
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Old Wednesday 18th July 2018, 00:20   #8
MeInDallas
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Theres no telling what it might of been! Since I've started feeding birds, I have noticed a few oddities here and there that I cant really explain. I guess thats just nature doing what it wants to do. That was one of the first things I read about birding is that you just have to let nature take its course. You can create a nice feeding enviroment, but you cant force things to happen. Usually after a few days, or as a much as a week, maybe longer, but it will straighten itself out in time.

Last year, the end of August, all the birds disappeared for a long time, and thats how I found this forum. Come to find out it was just the fall harvest, and birds were more interested in fresh food and not my bird seeds
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