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Hummingbird Photos to Share with you.

PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
edited August 2021 in Wildlife gardening
I know, due to weather, the UK and Europe don't get hummingbirds.  But they are such fascinating, beautiful little speed demons, I just had to share some recent photos I was FINALLY able to capture in my back garden.  I don't hang a 'nectar feeder' anymore as it causes ant issues.  But I do plant Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii), when they love just as much, I have discovered at this house.  Never planted this shrub before, but I am doing so now!  I've never even SEEN a male of this species sporting his pretty fuchsia neck feathers, but see females (solid green) daily feeding on these curiously-shaped blooms. 

Females are extremely possessive of their food sources and chase away all other hummers who approach the plant at the same time.  I kiddingly tell my (military historian) husband who taught World History 32 years, "The 'Turk's Cap Wars' are in full swing again" so he'll come watch.  I've never spotted one of their tiny nests, but have my suspicions which of the 30-40' oak & elm trees in my side garden they have built their nest in.  

Their bodies are only 14cm-21cm long and they fly as fast as a bolt of lightning.  Amazing little creatures!  So let me share the photos I feel lucky to have captured.  Sorry they're not closer, but this is as much as my lens will zoom in from my vantage point.  If I'd moved closer, she'd have been gone in the blink of an eye!  

I plan to add a couple more of these attracting plants to my garden next season, as they are Texas summer heat and drought hardy, die back in winter, returning the following Spring off root mass.  Since they are native plalnts, no fertilizer or care demands at all.  I have a couple of the peach-colored Turk's Cap bushes in my back garden, but those don't seem to attract the 'hummers'.  Not sure why. 
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  • Jealous, jealous, jealous, JEALOUS!!!
    ps thanks for sharing 😀
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    @mikeymustard, I'm convinced the only reason I was able to get these shots is because I'd just gone out to my side garden to snap a photo of a newly-planted canna.  A gorgeous, unexpected fritillary butterfly landed on the footpath by me.  I was in the process of snapping the butterfly, camera already at my eye just 7' from the Turk's Cap. Suddenly something black zipped by in my viewer/display.  Knew what it had to be, so I just spun to my left, toward the TC, zoomed in and SNAP!  I think I even blurted out "Gotcha!" LOL

    If I was smart, I'd just stand around in the front and back gardens WAITING for them, as they WILL come, but mosquitoes are just too bad this year in Texas.  Wettest Spring I can ever remember actually.  Can't complain though, as we need all the water we can get.  Hummers will start migrating south in another month, so I'm enjoying them while it lasts.  
    My low-carb recipe site:
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,509
    Wow! Thank you @PeggyTX that is both fascinating and beautiful!
    I love watching the birds in my garden and spend a fortune on seeds etc but we don't get anything as exotic as that! 
  • I think having "mozzies" for "hummers" is a reasonable trade off 😄 we haven't even seen any hummingbird hawkmoths this year, we usually get one around our buddleja most years but zip so far
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,970
    How's COVID down your way @PeggyTX ?
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995
    My dad has a terrible time with ants at his hummer feeder, so I bought him the Perky Pet ant guard.. and it worked instantly.  Make sure you have it cup down (so it doesn’t fill with water) and pulled open (extended with a gap, like the picture).  It worked with both large black ants and tiny black ones.  There is some sort of un-scented to humans disk up inside the cup that they won't cross.  One works for the entire summer.  

    I also found I get dozens of hummers if I have multiple feeders two or three feet apart.  I have four, all hanging in a close row under the porch protected from the sun.  Don't want to burn their little tongues on hot sugar water.  I used to space them out, but one male would guard one each.. so I only had four hummers around.  Now I get three or four feeding from each feeder at a time in the evenings.  
    Utah, USA.
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    punkdoc said:
    How's COVID down your way @PeggyTX ?
    Sorry I'm just seeing your question @punkdoc.  I've been off the forum lately, busy with other projects.  We're having a new roof done on our house this week and I've been distracted with that.  To your question, Covid has increased some this past month in Texas with the evolution of the new variant.  It has not increased dramatically where I live as yet (central, just north of Austin) but has done so in Houston and other larger cities.  The evening Austin news on the tele said Bell county (my county) is setting up a mobile testing site again, as too many people were going to Emergency Rooms just for Covid tests.  The news didn't mention if these people had actual Covid symptoms, however or whether it was just fear at play.  In Texas, and I imagine other states, often low-income families without health insurance coverage will use an ER like a walk-in clinic for non life-threatening health care.  There they know they will not be turned away for lack of insurance.  Sad, but true, and has been for many years.    
    My low-carb recipe site:
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