Ruby Throated Hummingbirds in Shenandoah

The mimosa trees are blooming in the Shenandoah Valley, and on our little farm, that means it’s time for the hummingbirds to mimosa themselves silly! The “feathery” leaves and sweetly scented pompoms of the tree are virtually vibrating from tiny little ruby-throated hummingbird wings. Even when you can’t see them, you can hear them as they chirp or buzz by. This page, though has annoying popups, is an excellent resource for hummingbird sounds.

female ruby-throated hummingbird

female ruby-throated hummingbird

This particular feeder is their favorite. I’ve tried a few different models over the years, but this one is best at keeping bees and ants out of the sugar water. The hummers are also attracted to the red flowers. I’ve purchased this model and similar models from various manufacturers and retailers. This particular one came from Walmart in 2011, though I saw them on the shelves early this season, too.

female ruby-throated hummingbird

female ruby-throated hummingbird

The sugar water, or nectar, is a simple syrup of 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water. I bring it just to a boil with the lid on the pot (to prevent evaporation) and once the sugar is dissolved, I remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Now, I have well water. If you are on city or chlorinated water, you might want to consider using bottled water or preboiling your water, measuring, and then boiling to dissolve the sugar.

female ruby-throated hummingbird

female ruby-throated hummingbird

The hummers seem to enjoy this clear mixture, and I haven’t purchased “red hummingbird food” at a store since I found the recipe a decade ago. Just make sure you change the fluid and clean the feeder every two or three days. Sugary water can go bad fast! We don’t need any drunk or sick hummingbirds.

female ruby-throated hummingbird

female ruby-throated hummingbird

So enjoy the hummingbird season! It’s always too short for me, but as long as they come back each year, I’ll look forward to it.

female ruby-throated hummingbird

female ruby-throated hummingbird

*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**

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