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Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Blooie, Aug 23, 2015.
The picture in post #19 shows a hummer feeding on a feeder that has a wasp guard.
Cool! Do you know where to buy them?
I haven't had to buy a wasp guard but I think my local hardware store (ACE) sells them along with all the other hummer supplies.
Thanks for helping out, Enola and NFc! I wasn't able to get right back to answer the question so I appreciate it! Yep, bee guards, but only because they happened to come already attached to the little window feeder. You can also order them online. Just google "hummingbird feeder bee guards" or some such. Normally if I start having a bee or wasp problem, I just pull the little yellow doohickies off the feeders...feeder ports, yeah, that's it...that's what they're called.
For the same reason hummers are attracted to red, bees and wasps are attracted to yellow. I read that somewhere and didn't believe it, but two years ago when both pests were overrunning my feeders, I bit the bullet and took the feeder ports off. Presto - it worked. Oh, I had some stragglers I admit, but not the mobs that I had previously. And that works just fine for me! The hummers had no trouble accessing the food without them. I think they're put on more to appeal to the people than the hummers!
Oh, gosh, Julie bird! You reminded me that I forgot to tell the story behind this picture! Well, once upon a time..wait, wrong story..... turn the page. Ah, here we go.
I'd been feeding hummingbirds for two seasons when I had to have neck fusion surgery. It kinda went awry, and I ended up down hard. After I got out of the hospital I had to stay down with this stupid ugly, hot collar and brace on. Ken was taking care of feeders for me, and the hummingbirds were in glorious abundance that year. He went out and picked me up this little window feeder, then moved the bed around so I could look out the window as they fed. (Yep, my Ken is one in a million, I'll tell ya!) Anyway, I was enjoying watching them at the feeder which was attached to the window with suction cups, but wanted to get a little closer.
Well, I figured if I was going to get out of bed and get a little closer, I may as well grab my little Fuji Sure Shot camera and see if I could get a nicer shot than I had ever been able to get before. Problem? I forgot to tell the hummers about my plan and they just weren't coming in close enough. I'd see one at the feeder, raise the camera, and as soon as he/she saw the movement that was it! Let me tell ya, I got so many pictures of that unoccupied feeder I could wallpaper the bathroom with them! All morning long I tried, resting for an bit when it got too hard to stand against the wall holding the camera out while the curtain blew in my face. Ken finished making lunch and was bringing it to me. Oh, oh! Caught! But not to worry....he took pity on me.
First thing he did was take down the curtain. No biggie, we live in the middle of nowhere so if folks are willing to brave the fenced yard and the dog just to take a peek in, more power to them! Then he put in a temporary shelf right under the window. I held the shelf while he got it just high enough for me to be at camera level with the feeder, then nailed it in place. My camera sat on the shelf, waiting to pounce! He had it aimed so well with the feeder in the LED screen that I didn't even have to bend slightly to look, just snap. But I was done for the day. We left the shelf and camera in place, and the hummers got used to it being there, a one eyed window peeker, and quickly learned to ignore it for the rest of the day.
The next morning I was ready. I stood out of sight, my tummy pressed against the wall with my hand propped on the shutter. Now, if you've ever used one of those, you know that it gives you a nano-second before it shuts itself off in order to "help you save on your battery life." Gee, thanks! Every few minutes I had to move my hand just a bit, turn the thing back on, listen to it whine and complain and then settle back into picture taking mode. It was during one of those moments that my first visitor of the day, a juvenile Rufous, came zipping in for breakfast! .I jerked my hand from the "on" button to the shutter and he was gone! But he came right back, and I took about 5 or 6 shots of him feeding. He left, I checked the pictures, and they were total garbage. Way too much movement for that little camera to capture. So I waited some more, turned the helpful camera back on several more times, and my little Calliope came in for breakfast. The doggone camera was off. I missed her! I was about ready to concede victory to the camera and the hummers, when this beautiful adult male Rufous came to the feeder. Bless that little camera, this time it hadn't shut off yet! I took about 4 or 5 pictures of him, when he backed up just slightly and then darted back in for another bite.... and just when he hovered in place the sun caught his gorget. Snap! I GOT IT!
Oh, I know it's not perfect. The window screen is very visible. But I love this picture. It taught me patience is the key to any hummer picture. It taught me that I have to be creative with hiding myself and with camera placement. It gave me something to do while laid up besides count the cobwebs on the ceiling. So to me, this is the best picture I've ever taken.
Blooie, what a wonderful story! It's such a neat photo and loved hearing how your DH fixed things up for you, he sounds like a great guy (guess I don't have the only one, lol). Being able to get a picture like that through a screen gives me hope. We sit on our screened porch to watch the feeder right outside of it.
Awe, Blooie, that is the best story. Bless your sweet Ken for the setup. And I am so happy it all brought you joy during your recovery. The hard road there sure makes the end result priceless. I think it's important that you documented the road you took to take that pic of the little hummoose because we never give thought to the process, just the destination.
@Blooie I actually love the texture that the screening gives to that picture. And that story is wonderful!
My dad feeds the hummingbirds at his house and at the cabin. He only gets the Ruby Throated hummingbird. And only two feeders at each place. He has about 13 hummers coming in regularly at the house, a few more at the cabin. A few years ago, he was sitting on the screen porch reading his Sunday paper when the male hummers started chasing each other around. One of them missed on his attack and wound up sticking his beak into the screen and getting stuck. He tried to get out for a couple of minutes, putting it into high speed reverse but was stuck too tight. My dad was worried about the poor little guy so he got up, gave it a tap on the tip of its beak and POP! it was loose and flew away.