Anna's Hummingbirds

Rufous Hummingbird


This bird is very small but very mighty. They fly tremendous distances during their migration. They are also voracious eaters. We have two feeders up in our backyard and they are at a constant war with the Rufous Humming birds for supremacy of the feeders. The Anna's are not the ones that come out on top most of the time. We also have several fushias in the yard for their pleasure too. I didn't realize before they moved into our yard that they have a chirp much like the song birds. Their voice is rather large for such a tiny thing. They nest in the photinia bushes behind our fence and perch in the fir trees next to it. They are a very brave bird but then if I could fly that fast, I guess I'd be considerably braver too. They fly right by our heads while we bar-b-que as the grill is between them and the feeders. You can be just a foot away from them and as long as you don't make a sudden move, they don't seem to mind.

This year when they arrived for spring, we hadn't put up the feeders yet. My husband was at the kitchen sink when one of the males flew up and hovered in front of the window as to say, "Well, we're here. Where's the food? I have found the recipe for Hummingbird nectar from different sources and there is two general favorites out there. You definitely do not need to waste your money on buying nectar for your hummers. I use the four to one ratio, four cups of water and 1 cup sugar for example. I read that you can use a 3 to 1 recipe to establish your house as a feeder station then switch to the 4 to 1 after they start coming. Boil your nectar for at least two minutes and always refrigerate what you don't need and change the nectar every two or three days if they haven't sucked it down before hand. ;-) Wash and disinfect your feeders too, especially if they are left out during the winter. You may use a mild bleach but rinse all parts very well. You can also use things found around your house to make your own feeders but they aren't so expensive that I found it necessary. The feeder has red on it so they are attracted to it without coloring the nectar.

I got a feeder that has perches on it the last time. They do stop and sit when a perch is provided and you can get a very good look at them that way. Sometimes you can almost read their expressions. As much as I love birds in general, I think the hummingbirds might be my favorites.

I recently read an article in the June 2001 issue of Reader's Digest that was so much fun to read. Rufous hummers were referred to as fighter pilots in small bodies. They are dangerous. I had one come within six inches or so from my ear just a few days ago. Actually though, our Anna's have decided to act like the rufous this year. They trade off daily I think.





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