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Hummingbirds Everywhere

Hummingbird on a feeder

Hummingbirds All Around

Do you have any hummingbirds in your yard? If so, I am sure you can appreciate just how long I had to stand still to get this picture. And how many photos I took, one after the other, to finally get this one. If you want to attract these beautiful birds to your backyard, we have this handout about them along with many other articles on what they like and the plants you should add to your garden.

Food for Your Hummingbirds

I got my Hummingbird feeder from Larry Hurley a few years ago. Each year we would see one once in a while, but I think we have a family of hummingbirds this year. Maybe we finally hit on the correct formula of sugar and water. I mixed up 1 part sugar and 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water). Some instructions say to boil the water, but I use a cup of very hot water to dissolve the sugar and then add the rest cold. We dump it into the CLEAN feeder and hang it out. In the past, I will admit we were sort of lazy and would go more than a week in between changing the sugar water. Now we try to do it at least two times a week. This has paid off with our family of hummingbirds and butterflies sipping from the feeder.

Summer Chocolate Mimosa Trees

I think having my Summer Chocolate Mimosa tree nearby has also helped. I know that the regular Mimosa is invasive, and it sounds like this one is too. Although I bought it from Behnke’s years ago, they stopped selling them after I got mine. I have to say though, this year the tree is fabulous. So full of the pink blooms against the burgundy foliage. It has been amazing watching the hummingbirds zip back and forth from the Mimosa to the feeder. Even better are the many different butterflies that are surrounding the blooms on the tree.

I need to add here what Miri Talabac, Behnke’s former Woody Plant Buyer, told me about the Summer Chocolate Mimosa tree. (It’s invasive, and not recommended for adding to your yard as they’re potentially short-lived in general since Mimosa can get an incurable wilt disease and have other unsightly pest issues). I love my tree so I will just enjoy it until if and when this disease takes it from me. You can still purchase these trees, however please keep in mind Mira’s warning before buying.

We are pretty sure this family of hummingbirds are using our feeder just to keep us entertained. This past week we could see the difference in the size of two of them. So tiny and fast, I think they know we are watching and love it.

More Hummingbird Articles

Susan Harris wrote an article, How To Attract Hummingbirds, for us a few years ago, including a great video of a hummingbird eating from a man’s hand. I think I might need to take my lawn chair out by the feeder and see if they will come to me. I might even get a better picture! By the way, I love my new phone and the images it takes. I was amazed at how far away I was when I took this picture.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’ve recently have been getting notifications online from groups I follow on Facebook that we should stop feeding all birds, including hummingbird feeders, due to an issue with a mysterious bird illness/death in several states, including Maryland. I am soooo sad about this guidance, but I feel like I should listen and follow.

  2. Hi there! Thanks so much for taking the time to write about this. Out where I leave in Western Howard County I had not heard of this so I went and wrote to the National Audubon Society. Here is their response. I will share this information in next weeks email. For now, with our hummingbirds we are cleaning the feeder 2 times a week with the bleach solution. We personally have not seen or heard of any sick or dying birds but now I will be on the lookout.

    For the past several weeks, Audubon and our wildlife partners have been fielding troubling reports of sick and dying birds across the Great Lakes region including Ohio and Indiana. Other cases have been reported in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia areas. While we are not yet certain of the potential cause of these reports, we are following the Department of Natural Resources recommendations and ask the public take the following steps to help prevent the possible spread of disease:

    Hold off on feeding birds via birdfeeders if you are seeing sick birds or are in a region where there is an outbreak until the cause has been determined.
    Contact your local state or district wildlife agency if you observe odd or sick bird behavior.
    Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
    Avoid handling birds — but if it’s necessary, wear disposable gloves
    Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a precaution.

    If you find sick or dead birds, we encourage you to report it to your state or District wildlife conservation agency:
    ​Indiana Department of Natural Resources
    Ohio Department of Natural Resources
    Michigan Department of Natural Resources
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Illinois Department of Natural Resources
    Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources

    The Ohio Division of Wildlife reported Blue Jays, Common Grackles, American Robins, European Starlings and Sparrows have been affected. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources also said Northern cardinals have been affected. Officials are working with partners across the region and at the national level to conduct tests on the birds and will provide additional details when results are in.

    For more information, please refer to the interagency statement from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners investigating the bird mortality event.


    Member Services Department
    National Audubon Society

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