Hummers 2020

The most interesting and frequent visitors to our backyard feeders and flowers in the summer are hummers – two very different kinds of hummers.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I’ve been negligent in landscaping for hummingbirds so most of my observations and photos center on a sugar-water feeder and adjacent perches.

Diurnal moths. Phlox is one garden flower that thrives despite my neglect. It reaches full bloom in August and another “hummer” visits almost immediately: the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. They buzz around like miniature hummingbirds, feeding on dozens of flowers in the time it takes to lock in on one. Mid to late afternoon is prime time.

Touch-me-not (Jewelweed), a native wild flower, is now in bloom. It’s sought after and guarded by hummingbirds and, with a lot of luck, might lead to a followup post on hummers!

Photos by NB Hunter (July and August, 2020). © All rights reserved.

 

August Hummers

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Like most birders around the world, I’m fascinated by hummingbirds and love watching them. Early August – about a month before their southern migration – is my favorite time to observe and photograph: populations have peaked, natural food sources like Touch-me-not, Bee Balm and Cardinal Flower are blooming, and, last but certainly not least, I have an opportunity to visit a friend who attracts huge numbers of hummingbirds. It’s not unusual to see 20 or 30 birds at his two feeders at one time, an incredible scene that is not unlike a swarm of giant bees (see my post from 2013 for details and photos: http://nicksnaturepics.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/hummers-a-summer-favorite/ ).

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, females and juveniles, visiting a sugar-water feeder:

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Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, females and juveniles, visiting a native wildflower (Cardinal Flower).

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.