The 2018 hummingbird season started off on April 22nd when the first hummingbird arrived at the feeder. I always enjoy when the hummingbirds arrive! The video below is from April 22nd when the first male Broad-tailed Hummingbird arrived at the feeder.
Last year, I found handheld hummingbird feeders, and thought they looked cool to try. I designed and built a platter that would fit on the railing and hold the small handheld feeders. The below picture is a top view of the newly finished platter back in the spring. Part of the reason behind designing the platter for the small feeders was that other birds tend to flock to the Perky Pet glass feeder, because the sugar water drips out more easily.
The directions for the handheld feeders say to use the original feeder until the hummingbirds start using the handheld ones, then remove the other feeder. So, I left the Perky Pet feeder out for awhile as the waves of hummingbirds arrived for the summer. They did gradually migrate over to using the platter!
The first male that arrived on April 22nd quickly staked a claim over the feeder and defended the area from on top of a nearby currant bush. I named him Buddy. The video below is called “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” This was a popular branch for Buddy and a few other hummingbirds to perch on.
Buddy would also sit at the perches of the platter and watch for other hummingbirds to chase away. I will need to redo the perch design, because the hummingbirds were unable to drink while perched. That is a project for this fall. The platter also sustained some hail damage and the paint started flaking off. After I finish the perch redesign, I will also repaint and seal the platter.
Eventually, most of the hummingbirds were using the platter. There were two distinct male and female pairs that used the feeders. Buddy had a female that I named Holly. The other pair I named Mary and Tyler. The picture below shows Holly and Mary at the platter at the same time.
I followed the instructions provided with the handheld feeders and quit putting the Perky Pet feeder out once the birds were using the platter. This did reduce the amount of other birds and even bees that swarmed around the sugar water! All-in-all, I was excited that the hummingbirds used the new feeder platter!
My sister and her family visited during the summer. They enjoyed watching the hummingbirds as well. We were talking about them on the deck one day. Soon thereafter, I was helping change my nephew’s diaper in the guest room. I have a couple framed prints of hummingbirds from previous seasons hanging on the wall. My nephew stood up on the bed after his diaper change, looked at the two prints, and said Hum Bud clear as a bell! From that day on, hummingbirds are referred to as Hum Buds! He was only nine months old at the time.
At the end of the season, I placed the Perky Pet back on its hanger since there were more birds (including fledglings) trying to stock up before the migration back south. I am not sure on the total count of birds that used the feeders. As I mentioned above, there were two specific pairs of males and females. There were several others that would buzz in when there was a chance.
Hummingbird season officially ended On Tuesday, September 18th. That was the last day there was activity at the feeder. Fall is definitely creeping into the air and migration is well underway. Hummingbird season is one of my favorites. There are a few other modifications besides the perch redesign and repaint that I will be working on until next season. I am looking forward to when I can put the feeders back out in the spring!