In my area of South Jacksonville, we've had 2 or 3 RTHs each year . This year, I'm ready earlier than ever. 3 feeders are out with more to come soon. Question: should I place my feeders all in one group, or should I locate a few in one area and three or four in another area nearby?
I also have a wild bird Feeder located near the hummingbird feeders will that present a problem?
Looking forward to a fun filled summer with plenty of birds in my yard!
Post by Steve Backes on Mar 13, 2016 11:50:19 GMT -5
Birds at seed feeders should not affect hummingbirds in a negative way. I feel that their presence actually encourages hummingbirds to visit as their sounds indicate a safe place where birds can feed. If it were unsafe, the birds would not be there. Some birds may be leery about going into or under something to feed but others will not think twice about it. Hummingbirds routinely come under the roof of my front porch to feed.
Post by Steve Backes on Mar 13, 2016 11:56:47 GMT -5
I recommend placing feeders in different areas where they are not seen from one location. Hummingbirds are very territorial and one bird could chase all others away. Placing feeders so that birds can slip in and feed without being seen by the resident bird will increase the likelihood of your having multiple birds in your yard. A second approach is to put so many feeders up in an area that a bird chased can quickly go to another feeder. The hope is that the chasing bird will tire of chasing the second bird from feeder to feeder and eventually chose just one to guard.
A couple of comments from my point of view. Clustered feeders are particularly useful in areas of the country where hummers are found in great numbers. From my observation FL does not meet this criteria. Most yards in FL may attract 3-4 hummers at any one time but some folks are fortunate to have a dozen or so! The folks that get a dozen or more are few and far between. Seed feeders for passerine's are another issue but my experience is that a 7-8' separation may not present a problem, but my experience in MA indicates that hummers prefer a bit more distance than I mentioned. The "least visited" feeder I have there is 6' from a seed feeder. So I have most feeders well separated from seed feeders.
The attractiveness of a feeder is in the "eye" of the beholder so consider different styles of feeder. Many good looking feeders don't seem to pass that test, for many hummers, so you might consider putting up different styles and over the seasons determine which ones work and which ones don't! Getting a hummer's curiosity to the point that it probes an artificial feeder is what we hope for. Hummers are not instinctively attracted to artificial feeders, for them it's a learned experience, but if one hummer is using a feeder others will quickly figure it out. Simply hanging a feeder does not guarantee that a hummer will use it. Hope this helps and thanks for visiting our site!
Thank you Steve and Joe. As I sit watching the male cardinal at his new fast food stop (wild bird feeder) his mate just flew in to accompany him. I think the placement of the feeders will work fine. I found a shrimp plant at a local plant shop and along with the buttefly bushes and other flowers soon to bloom, I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of my hummers before ling. PS I appreciate the post from my neighboring southsiders, good luck spotting the hummers. Please post as soon as you see your first one.
First hummer spotted! I moved one of my feeders to a more visible spot and placed a Shrimp plant and gloxinia in clear view. Viola! Hummer! I am not familiar enough to determine the gender of the bird, but I'm pretty certain that it is a ruby throated Hummer.
First hummingbird sighting, here in NW Jacksonville, outskirts, towards Lake city. 32234. Our feeders are in front of our back porch, and we have had 3 Ruby Throated males visiting. 3/25/16 7:45am. We have a shepherds hook with 3 feeders at different heights. I am noticing since my firecracker bush isn't up, they don't seem to stick around as much. I think it will need to be replaced RIP Firecracker plant.
Rod and others: Nice to hear that folks in the JAX area are seeing hummers. Be aware that many of the hummers at this time of the year are passing through heading north to their preferred summer locations! Not every hummer you see in March will stay for the summer, but they will remember your location as a feeding spot and many will pass through in the fall and even decide to spend the winter!
An excellent web site that has reported annual Ruby-throat migration, year after year, is www.hummingbirds.net/.
I won't go into detail since most all answers to questions concerning our FL Hummingbirds are found by searching the site! Your near the river in JAX and very likely to see hummers throughout the year. Not many, but a few off and on, with a greater probability of seeing them during the winter months.