Articles About Hummingbirds
Greetings Peccole Ranch Neighbors!
Summer time is here and it is hot again. I want to introduce some residents that have been living or passing through our neighborhood. They are: Allen’s, Anna’s, black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Costa’s and the long traveler Rufous (migratory route is Mexico to Alaska and return).
What you ask? They all come under the heading of Hummingbird. That’s right, I am talking about those fast flying, darting, acrobatic, fighting and on the constant hunt for sugar solution little Hummers. They can be found right in your backyard and green belt area. They are the only birds that can hover and fly backwards.
I urge all Peccole Ranch residents to take the time and very little investment of putting up a Hummingbird feeder in their yard. Collectively, as Peccole Ranch residents we have the potential of turning Peccole Ranch into a Hummer sanctuary. Every home adding a feeder as a year round food source will keep that many more birds in this area. I am here to help and answer your questions. Let’s get started:
· Hummers are attracted to anything red
· Purchase an easy to clean and simple feeder. Put only the quantity of sugar solution necessary for a less than a week’s duration of feeding. Never mix honey (contain botulinum spores) or red coloring to the sugar solution. As long as the color red is on the feeder somewhere, they will find it. They learn fast
· Sugar solution can and should be made in your own kitchen. Simply take a large pan and add 8 cups of tap water. Bring this water to a near boil and slowly dissolve 2 cups of pure granulated white sugar into the near boiling water (the ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Don’t skimp! Hummers can tell the difference and will move on) keep stirring until the solution is clear. Remove from heat and let cool several hours—I prefer to let it stand covered on the stove overnight for cooling
· Save an empty gallon water bottle and with the aid of a large funnel transfer the sugar solution from the pan to the bottle in your kitchen sink. Steady, that pan is big. Mark it “Hummer Solution” and store in the refrigerator
· Feeders should be taken down and washed out, run a small brush (available where you order quality feeders. My personal manufacturer choice is “Droll Yankee”. Droll Yankee makes the “little flyer”. It is excellent. Use your PC to find on the web) through the feeder portals, and a larger brush for the inside of the feeder. Rinse, fill with fresh solution and hang outside. In time, the birds will be there waiting
· Use the same area to hang the feeder and make sure it has shade during the day to keep the solution from evaporating. A reachable bottom branch of a backyard tree or under your patio is perfect. A constant food source in the same location of your yard will ensure many birds
Be prepared for Hummer watching! Shortly a dominant male hummingbird will take up residence in your yard and claim it as his territory. He will be chasing many juveniles, females and other males out of the territory and away from “his” supply of sugar solution. But, he can’t watch the feeder all the time and other birds will feed. I wish you the best of luck and watch for future articles from the Peccole Hummer Man.
article by Lex
Las Vegas, Nevada
The following Article contributed by Susie Lear
An Illustrious Hobby - Famous Birders
Bird watching is sometimes seen as a hobby for people of a somewhat eccentric lifestyle – a quiet occupation, on the fringes of society. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In actual fact, a great many powerful, influential and charismatic people have been drawn to the pleasures of birding. From rock stars to politicians and even presidents, plenty of famous people have extolled the delights of unwinding with a pair of binoculars and appreciating the simple, enchanting joys of observing birds in their natural habitat. Here are just a few of the world’s most famous birders:
Jimmy Carter, who was the 39th President of the United States, is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Despite the quite considerable pressures of his former office, he always liked to escape into the natural world in order to recuperate his energies within the peace of nature. In his memoir ‘An Outdoor Journal’, Carter has recounted the childhood experiences of hunting and fishing in the wilds of Georgia, and spending days happily lost in the woods, watching the birds flitting from tree to tree. This outdoor childhood gave him a considerable grounding in natural knowledge, and a love of nature (particularly its birds) which has remained with him throughout his life. His enthusiasm for bird watching is such that he even made time during important trips to the Middle East to observe the avian life of Israel – “I’ve been bird-watching in Israel with both Palestinians and Israeli bird-watchers, who’ve gone out with me early in the morning, both inside Jerusalem and in other places” he told reporters. He remains a staunch advocate of naturalism, and believes that Americans should do as Valore Books suggest and learn more about the ways of the natural world.
Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Franzen has brought journalistic approbation upon his head for displaying both embarrassment and scorn for the hobby of bird-watching – despite his own avid participation. Franzen has described himself as experiencing a “creeping sense of shame” while birding – “I couldn’t bear to use my binoculars for more than a few seconds” - which has earned him the disapproval of Slate reporter Laura Helmuth. “In birding, as in life in general, don’t be like Jonathan Franzen. Don’t let neurosis, self-involvement, and pride inhibit your enthusiasms” she warns. Nonetheless, despite his conflicted attitude towards his hobby, Franzen has written several New Yorker articles about birding, fought to raise awareness of the mass deaths of songbirds worldwide, and spoken of the deep sense of connection he feels for birds - despite ruefully acknowledging that he considers his passion more of an “addiction” than a hobby. He also features prominently in the HBO documentary program “Birders: The Central Park Effect”.
The ex-Beatle and founder of the appropriately named ‘Wings’ is so fond of birds that he supposedly even struck a deal with the estate of his bitterly estranged ex-wife Heather Mills in order to save one of his birding hides during divorce proceedings which were otherwise exceedingly acrimonious. Of course, Britain is a nation of confirmed bird-lovers, so it is perhaps little wonder that Macca should participate enthusiastically in his national pastime. McCartney’s love of birds appears to be longstanding and unfaltering – unlike his unfortunate marriage to Mills. As a teenager, McCartney was an avid viewer of BBC nature program ‘Look’ – even writing to the producers in order to ask for “the drawings of them ducks, if you’re not doing anything with them” (his request, sadly, went unfulfilled).
Renowned for playing warriors, tough guys, and stony-faced leaders, in his spare time British actor Sean Bean indulges a passion for nature which may have confused Boromir or Eddard Stark. He has a great love of Ken Loach’s 1969 film ‘Kes’, about a young, neglected and bullied boy who finds a degree of self-fulfillment through raising a kestrel. Bean even had a kestrel himself as a boy – “I used to have a kestrel. I had a license for it” – and his love of nature has persisted into adulthood. “I was fascinated by wildlife when I was younger…and natural history…and it’s something I still am interested in”. He is also a keen gardener, and fills his carefully cultivated trees with bird boxes, which he constructs himself in his garage.
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