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Feeding Hummingbirds.
July 24, 2017

What do you think.

Not really a "Peekaboo" look.

Is Sophie saying something like "You Called"?

Maybe a "Leave Me Alone"so I can sleep, look.

"I'm just Chillen out."

No matter, a darling picture of her.

Kitty is really growing, and Miss Penny is becoming quite the playmate, as well as Snickers.

Keet is too old an arthritic to get that rambunctious.

We celebrated Karen, her sister, a nephew and mom-in-law (in hearts only), birthdays, all in July.

It just works this way.

Karen's mom is 93 and slowly fading.

Speaking of fading, Karen and I will be heading Up North for a few days.

A well needed respite.

Yolanda is in good hands while we are gone, as well as all of our fur babies.

This is one of those years, when the Grand Rapids area must be covered with some kind of rain repellent.

Rain and storms all around, inches of rain up north, inches of rain in Southern Wisconsin, parts of Illinois and Indiana, and barely enough to get the ground wet around here.

The meteorologists around here must like egg on their face, as the forecasts have been terrible this year.

I've managed to get this far in the season to not write a small bit on hummingbirds.

Must've been other stuff to write on or My mind is not as sharp these days.

Feeding Hummingbirds.



Flying Jewels.

I don't know of a single person that wont stop what they are doing to watch a hummingbird.

We all love hummers, and some of you may wish for more of them.

I know I do.

Where you live however, is a huge factor.

In most regions, if you live in a rural area and have proper habitat, getting hummers to visit isn't a big problem if you keep feeders maintained, and have flowers to attract them.

Us suburban dwellers and city folk may have a more difficult time attracting one or two hummers.

I manage to attract a few of them each year.

Decent feeders, planting for hummingbirds, protection, and other issues come into play when it comes to attracting and keeping these tiny marvels of the avian world.

Pesticides and Hummers:

In the past, I have had people tell me how they are using 'Sevin' Dust on their hummingbird feeders.

Others feel it is okay to rub 'Petroleum Jelly' and other products like 'Vicks' on and around their hummers feeders to keep ants and possibly bees at bay.

I cringe at the thought of using such products around any bird feeders, especially hummers.

We all know that hummers are small birds, and you may even know they are one tough little bird.

Still they are not much bigger than some insects we try to kill off with insecticides.

On average, a person can mail 10 Ruby-throated hummingbirds with a single postage stamp (U.S.).

It wouldn't take much of any insecticide to kill off one of your hummers.

Okay, the insecticide isn't in the water, but on the feeder.

Birds do preen and they do return to the nest to brood babies and feed them.

Just think, mom and her babies gone, like that.

But I use 'petroleum jelly' or "Vicks" and cooking oil on my feeders and hanger to keep ants a bay.

Wrong again.

While these items are harmless to you and me, we don't enjoy wearing the greasy products.

For birds, it is lethal.

Gumming up feathers takes away the freedom of flight and ultimately death.

Even a little on these little birds is harmful.

Now, if mom can't fly and feed, what about the eggs or babies?

Greasing up poles to keep squirrels, etc. away isn't healthy for the mammals either as fur mats up and the critter loses the ability to keep warm or cool.

So what is a person to do?

Look no farther than your pantry or spice cabinet, or your garden, for that matter.

Ants, wasps, other insects hunt by smell.

If you mess with their sniffer, what's a bug to do?

Nepada, Monarda, Spearmint, Peppermint, will deter wasps and bees, as long as their is a smell.

Clip and hang sprigs of these aromatic plants with your hummer feeders.

(Cinnamon keeps ants at bay, even from entering your house.)

What spices do you cook or bake with?

Hang some mint tea bags with your feeders, (you may need to moisten them).

This will work as long as the mint smell is there.

You may have to change it every 2 or 3 weeks.

Get creative to find out what works for you.

You may try making a Sache' to hang with your feeder.

A spray mix of 25% Pure mint oils and 75% rubbing alcohol.

Shake well and spray feeders, even inside nest boxes where wasps want to take up residence.

Mint is a Neurotoxin to bees.

On my Hummingbirds, Feeding and care for feeders, I share some ideas with you.

There is more than the basic stuff, I went a step further to help you learn a few things on hummers, and pest insects.

Examples Are:

Citrus extract kills fleas, see if it works to keep other insects away (I haven't tried citrus yet).

Keeping your feeders cleaned and filled every few days is important for your hummingbirds health.

Feeders can make a difference in the health of your hummingbirds, do you have the right feeders?

A refresher course is a good thing from time to time.

To attract hummingbirds is one thing, to keep them year after year is another thing.

By offering fresh sugar water and plenty of nectar producing flowers and tiny insects (pesticide free) you may attract a few strangers that may stay the season.

Quality hummingbird feeders, also keep wasps at bay.

If you haven't read this page, you really should.

Plus, you can be the expert when you tell your friends about folic acid in ants, and in hummer water.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"Man is happy only as he finds work worth doing, and does it well".

E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

When you find that work, it isn't work at all.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a
reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving".

Colossians 3:23-24

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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