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anchor man

Are the Hummer numbers down?

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At our cabin in Crosslake, I couldn't fill my feeders quick enough last year and this year started off to a moderate start, as far as activity. But over the last couple months my feeders haven't been touched and I've only seen one buzz by. Are the overall numbers down? I'm using the same food/mixture as last year too. I kinda feel like a lost little puppy without my lake friends..well not really, but they are fun to watch

Thanks

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It may be a numbers deal but probably isn't.

Once summer is fully in, most hummer nectar feeders only attract males until the young are fledged and bombing around all over the place in August.

That's because dad plays no part in the upbringing of the young, and because mom generally ignores nectar feeders in favor of insects when raising the young, because insects provide a much better, more protein packed meal for young hummers.

So nectar feeders are busy in May and early June, then mostly only have some males visiting them from mid June through July and then attract the whole kit n kaboodle again in August.

If your numbers this midsummer are down compared with your numbers last midsummer, it may simply be that last summer your feeder was right on the edge between two male hummers' territories, so they both used your feeder and got in some jousting matches with each other. This year it's possible you only are in one hummer's territory, or that there's no male hummer at all using the area around your feeder.

I have one male hummer using my back yard for territory, and even one hummer can make a lot of visits in a day to the nectar feeder.

It's also much better to make sure you keep the nectar mixture fresh. If it's more than a week old, it's not as strong an attractant as fresh nectar. I change mine once a week.

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I have hadzero, nada, zilch, big goose egg. From others I have asked, there have been minimal to zero hummer sightings so far in the valley.

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We have visitors to ours every day. Both male. One comes in drinks and leaves. The other comes in hand hangs around for a while in the crabapple tree nearby so it must be his territory and the other just comes in and steals some of his precious nectar! :-) The one chases the other off whenever he sees it. Not that I can tell one from the other though, only the way that they act when they come in. Have a good one. Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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stfcatfish,

What you're saying makes perfect sense. I did see a lot of courting/territorial rucus last season, so it probably was a couple males overlapping. It was a blast to watch them do their side to side dances and large U-shaped arcs. I didn't realize hummers could make so much noise when excited. Well, hopefully and least a couple will return in a few weeks. Thanks for the info.

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They're here but they're not pulling as hard on the nectar (yet) as last year at this time. Wondering if part of it could be the lack of flowers blooming in our beds they're attracted to due to the cool, wet spring. The nasturtiums and 4 o'clocks are just starting and the impatiens and petunias at home haven't hit full stride yet. Our hummingbird habitat isn't the greatest, more like an oasis in a sea of corn and soybeans, so suspect they're coming from somewhere else nearby.

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