September 9, 2008

Tanking Up for the Commute

mm-mmm, sugar water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The constant chatter outside my home office window has disappeared this week. It seems that the little hummers have started to hit the road for their long commute to Mexico and South America.

Hubby has done a terrific job this year cleaning the feeders, cooking up fresh sugar water, and keeping the reservoirs filled. The feeders will remain up for a little while yet because the ones traveling on through might need a little sip for their long journey.

During the past few weeks, there was a crescendo of feeding and chasing activity. I’ve read that each bird nearly doubles its weight before departing, from about 3.25 grams to over 6 grams. The adult males start migrating south as early as mid-July, but the peak of southward migration is late August and early September. By mid-September, the ones visiting the feeders are just passing through.

Bye, bye, our little friends! See you next year!

there’s plenty for both of you!


  1. hello first time visiting. i love your pictures of those little guys. hummingbirds make me smile...and i say that my #2 daughter is just like a hummingbird. she never lands in one place and is always on the move.

    oh, and i just retired from my engineering career too...Mechanical by degree, but practiced as Vehicle Systems Engineer for almost 20 years in the automotive business. interesting that we have that in common!

  2. Hi, mommaof4wife2r! Glad you found my blog and liked my pictures! Please have a nice little expedition and explore my older posts.

    LOL, I like that description of your #2 daughter! I actually got to hold a hummingbird one time (for a rescue), and it was like holding air!

    How wonderful to know another woman engineer! Welcome to the world of retirement now! My degree was in nuclear engineering - first woman with a B.S. in the country, LOL. We were breaking new ground back several decades ago, huh?! I finished up my career in environmental management at TVA.

  3. I noticed at my brother's house today that the hummers were very active, fighting over the of the feeders, chasing around and what small wonders to watch! great picture...i should have snapped away at his house...drats! He has a female that perches at the top of the other dares to come there when she is there..LOL

  4. We sure enjoy watching them, Cindy! I would say that they are getting ready to fly south and that is why they are fighting so much right now at your brother's house. If you want some pictures, you need to get them very soon!

  5. Aw, how sweet. I love it when nice people like you & hubby take such good care of God's creatures. :)

  6. Oh they are so sweet!
    I feel my life would be complete with those little guys to watch from my window:)
    This sugar syrup...How do you make it??
    Is it like what the zoo's have in the butterfly enclosures??
    I have bought for my new house a bird feeder platform and can't wait till we get it up!
    WE have about 14,000 native plants and the like here at our new house and get wrens ,kookaburras,and lots of parrots But I'd love some Hummers...So delicate and special!

  7. Aaawww, that's nice of you to say, Sally, but we are being selfish when we do it. We enjoy their company! LOL!

  8. Your place sounds like a lush botantical garden and farm, all rolled into one! Ah, you're going to have many great adventures there and it will be wonderful for the kids.

    Here's how to fix the sugar solution:
    1 part sugar
    4 parts water
    Bring the wter to a boil and then slowly add the sugar. let boil for a few minutes, then remove from the burner to cool. Store any excess solution in the refrigerator. (Let it warm up a bit when you take it out of the fridge so they don't get brain freeze, LOL.) Do NOT use artificial sweeteners or honey!

    I don't know what they use for the butterfly zoos, but perhaps it is the same thing.

  9. Hi Donna,

    Great photos and I didn't know that about the hummingbirds. I love watching them come to my backyard feeded and I'll miss them when they are gone. I'll have to start feeding the redbirds now if I can figure a way to stop the squirrels from getting into their feeders.

  10. Terrific pictures of the little hummies.

  11. great hummer shots!!!! Are they not so fun to watch! I seem to only have a few left but they are feeding like crazy..I guess stocking up for their flight.

  12. Aren't they SO fun to watch?!!! I only have two fussing and fighting!hahaaa..hughugs

  13. Congratulations, Donna!! You are the winner of the September pin keep give away on my blog. Let me know which color pin keep you would like and where to send it!!

  14. Hey, Joan! Add crushed red pepper flakes to your birdseed and that will discourage the squirrels and not affect the birds! Glad you liked my pictures@

  15. Thank you Karen M., moma grits, and Donna!

  16. What great pictures. Wish we had birds like that there. The cockatoos and galahs are magnificent though, if a tad noisy :-)


  17. You have some beautiful birds down there is Aussie land!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!