Sep 6, 2012

Bye-Bye Birds

I mounted my very first hummingbird feeder in mid-July. A dominant male hummingbird promptly conquered the feeder, disallowing any females to sup unless they mated with him. (Hmm, sounds familiar.) Eventually, one female succumbed to his coercing like a coquette at a cocktail bar.

On Labor Day, I was told by 2 avid mountain gardeners, that I needed to take down the feeder or the hummingbirds will not migrate. I was thinking the birds would fly south instinctively, but apparently a maintained feeder sends the wrong message. With winter around the corner, I imagined ice-covered hummingbirds with beaks frozen in nectar. Not pretty.

So, yesterday, I removed the feeder. At first, the hummingbirds flitted circles around the vacancy. Then they vanished. The wasps, on the other hand, were obviously in denial. It took them hours to accept that the party was over.

NOTE: See  "And now I wait..." for my previous hummingbird post.


  1. So very interesting! Just a reminder that even when we think we are being helpful... we may not have the whole picture. I have to remember this with my son for sure!

  2. Here in Texas, at least, we leave ours up until at least a couple of weeks after we stop seeing hummers. This provides sustaining energy for migrating birds passing through. According to the Texas Audubon Society, "It is a common misconception that hummingbirds will purposefully delay their migrations if there is a full nectar feeder nearby. But keeping a hummingbird feeder up will not cause a hummingbird to delay its migration. Hummingbirds instinctively know when to migrate due to changes in how long the sun is up, which triggers hormone changes in the birds' bodies. Presence of food will not override this instinct, according to the Texas Audubon Society."


Thanks for stopping by!
♫ Karen