5/12/2015

Hummingbird wars and a tale of a little wren...


When we went to Quinn's resort last summer we ate in a long glassed-in porch.  The whole length was hummingbird feeders every few feet and each had 6-12 hummers feeding. When I put a feeder out there is always a dominant male who drives others away and this is common behavior so I knew the people at Quinn's knew something I needed to know.  So I went on Google and found this article  with advice on dealing with hummingbird wars.

Now according to hummingbird expert Bob Sargent, the way to attract more hummingbirds is to put out more feeders.  And rather than separate them  they should be clustered together.  When the birds all feed in a central area at numerous feeders, a dominant bird cannot hog a feeder. According Sargent   “The feeding and fighting sounds of many hummers at feeders will attract more and more hummers into your feeding area.”

Bob and Martha Sargent  maintain as many as 75 feeders in roughly a 30’ x 30’ area.  He suggests clustering feeders in close proximity to each other and using as many feeders as you can afford and maintain.  So this year I now have 4 feeders close together and will be adding 3 more when they arrive from Amazon this week.  I will keep you posted on the results.





Now the tale of my little wren.   Last year I had my first wren nest here and I fell in love.  The wren is the Sophie Tucker of birds..  This tiny bird throws back it head and belts out an incredible song.  So I was prepared.  I had cleaned out the old wren house and added a new one.  Lately we saw nesting activity at both houses and a wren was building a nest in the swallow house.  I am thinking that I have three nesting wrens..

Well maybe not!!!  It seems that it is the duty of the male wren to build the nest.  BUT it is not only his duty to build one nest, he must build several nests and the female only chooses one to lay her eggs.  I think this is rather much to put on the more little guy.  After building all those nests it is a wonder he still has enough energy to perform his manly duties...

6 comments:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Interesting to read about hummers - didn't know that multi feeders was the way to go. I haven't seen any around our apartment building and no one around us seems to have any feeders out. Poor Mr. Wren, having to build all those nests!

Marlynne said...

Very interesting Hummingbird information!

Marilyn said...

Reminds me of a place we used to stop for coffee on our way home from the island after we moved to Greenwood. There was an area just outside the windows where there were several hummingbird feeders and there were always lots of them around. In fact, if you walked past that area you had to be wary as they would dive bomb you if you got too close. I hope your the lady wren chooses a nest close to you :)

Susan Elliott said...

I have wrens too this year instead of my bluebirds. Even though I miss the blues, I do love the wrens too. I've had the guy build nests in all three of my boxes at one time so the female he's courting has maximum choice. I once counted all the sticks in the nest before cleaning it out...368!! I plan to try to photograph the action in the box today but it's hard with wrens because they cover their babies with sticks when they leave the nest. Stay tuned on bird TV...

Susan Elliott said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to add that I'm off to buy two more hummingbird feeders! Thanks for the tip!

Kathie Holder said...

Greetings from Huffman, TX. The photo in your blog of all the Hummingbird feeders infront of the limestone wall is at my house. These are my Hummingbird feeders and we go through 112 lbs of sugar on average each July-Oct. If you have any questions you are welcome to contact me. I give Ruby-throated Hummingbird presentations and the Houston Audubon Society has brought a bus of birders to our house twice. If I said that we feed an estimated 25,000 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that pass through our yard each year on their southerly migration would you believe me. Well that is the number we think we have seen in peak year. Kathie Holder
birder55@comcast.net

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