Friendly Little Ladies
Our Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) population has increased this year. I think they are programmed to come back here since we provide so much food for them. I mentioned on a previous blog that I grow Columbine for Hummingbirds and the variety of columbine has increased as well. I had added Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans), Bee balm (Monarda didyma), and Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) to other plants I grow before I realized there are hummingbirds in this area. Butterfly bush (Buddleia daviddi) and a variety of Phlox (both woodland and garden) that I grow for their fragrance and the butterflies also help to draw the birds in.
I put the hummingbird feeders out as soon as the columbine started to bloom. I have to put them far apart since the birds are very possessive about their feeder. Even after they’re done with the sugar water, they still keep their eyes on the juice and chase the interlopers out. For the first time this year I’ve seen two of them drink from the same feeder. I’m envious when I see photographs of many hummingbirds feeding from the same feeder or feeding from a person’s hands. I guess they put up with one another when they migrate and take what they can before taking off to their final destination. Northeastern US is their breeding ground, so they get very territorial.
They are also friendly enough to let me get close this year, only the females though. The males are still elusive. I hope I can get some photos of the males before they migrate back down south.