SEEKING NECTAR

CHIRP BATTLE AND HUM

The ruby-throated hummingbirds typically arrive in May and depart by October. And, for six glorious months of the year, they have my undivided attention as they visit the plants and perches on the patio.

The patio garden began with a plastic feeder, a potted plant and the hope to create a sanctuary for both bird and observer.

It now features multiple plastic nectar feeders, 6-10 salvia plants, 10-20 ‘other’ species of flowering annuals and a variety of perches for the birds to lord from.

Each container is numbered, placed in the same location each season and bird observations are duly recorded in a spreadsheet.

The ruby-throated hummingbirds appear to be fiercely independent, loners with little tolerance toward other birds appearing on the patio.

Yes, these tiny birds may perch on your finger while feeding on a flower, or, hover at your eye level ferociously chirping inches from your face.

They are the backyard bully bird I never knew I needed.

Ironically, it was while waiting to see a hummingbird, when a wasp’s curious behavior prompted the question, “Why is the wasp eating the wood chair”, that was the catalyst for Patio Life.

Now, a new question arose, “Do hummingbirds prefer feeders or flowers?” Since I like numbers, I hoped to find out.

After four seasons of observation, 8,000+ visits, the statistics have been analyzed and the question has been answered, at least on this patio.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

PATIO LIFE

IF YOU PLANT IT – THEY WILL COME