Apr 162011

I couldn’t believe it. April 15th is my hummingbird arrival day, or has typically been for the last decade (plus or minus a day), and here I am sitting at a computer unprepared, not really even looking or listening. Yes, I put the main “hummingbird welcome mat” out two weeks ago, just in case, but I’d not gotten feeders near my office. What was I thinking? How would I see/hear the birds without them?

Hummers coming...

Folks who know me and live in Coal Creek Canyon know I typically report the first hummingbird of the season. I’ve done it for many years. It is not that I kid myself that others haven’t seen one, but more that I am the only one daft enough to broadcast it to the canyon. I do it primarily for fun (mine), but also with the more serious message of “clean those hummingbird feeders” (and get ready to enjoy the influx.)

The scouts (ahead of the pack) arrive first. One or two usually stop and rest here a day or so. They typically move on, and the masses arrive by the start of May, but they deserve to be noticed, noted as first of season and to grab a snack for the journey. The period between these visitors feel long, but knowing the gangs of little critters will be back soon enough is enough to keep me listening for the overhead buzz.

I get my feeders out early in the hopes of getting more than my fair share of birds who chose to make a territory here. I get my hummingbird sticks out at the same time, that this becomes a more mellow neighborhood.

Today, once alert to the need for HEO, I placed two feeders outside my office windows. The benefits of working from home include having a ‘corner office’, and so I positioned the feeder such that they aren’t visible to each other (through the room.) I placed a hummer stick high on the one, hoping to draw a male in to it (and so he’d not see the other.) For me, the females (who are likely working their small bodies hard enough to produce eggs and raise chicks) don’t needed the aggression from the males, and deserve to drink in peace. There is no science behind these sticks (there is about keeping multiple feeder out of sight from each other) but I do my best to keep feeders available for females to sneak to.

So … now I feel ready/able to encounter those scouts, to give them a new fresh snack from a clean feeder. They might be a day or so late due the foot of snow we just received, but if they do come (and don’t bypass us) then all the more reason to give them a warm welcome.

Are your humming bird feeders out? clean? fresh?