Friday, September 30, 2016

Summertime Fun is at an End

It seems that most all of our tiny visitors have moved on southward. We might catch a brief glimpse of one at a feeder 2 or 3 times a day, but for the most part they are gone. We had terrific summer traffic, though. The hummingbird bander was here in July, in August, and a surprise visit in September. All together, she banded 26 birds on our porch. It is awesome to know that we have contributed something, no matter how small, to the scientific study of these amazing creatures.

A couple of weeks ago when she came over, she banded 13 birds in just about 2 hours! For the previous visits, we've been neighborly and invited our neighbors over to observe the process. This last time we didn't tell anyone and Terrie was the scribe, recording the information that Veronica got from the measuring and weighing.

We're off to the Northwest Arkansas Arts and Crafts Festival in Springdale in a couple of weeks. Then we'll have our first experience at the Nashville Christmas Village in November. We cut back on our show participation this year. With any luck, the wholesale accounts we've picked up will be steady customers.

Hummingbird fact for today: The instinct to migrate is so strong that nothing short of captivity can keep a healthy, normal migratory bird from going south. The few hummingbirds that try to winter in climates too cold for their survival most likely are physically unfit to migrate or have off-kilter internal compasses and would have died sooner had they not found feeders. By leaving a feeder up through the full migration period, you may give a disadvantaged bird a second chance at survival.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Not Getting Much Done

Who wants to work when the hummer activity is up? Besides, Bill is still "recovering" from last week's cataract surgery. So we sit and watch hummers getting fat in preparation for their migration. And the hummingbird bander is coming back this evening :-)


Hummingbird fact for today: Each species of hummingbird makes a different humming sound, determined by the number of wing beats per second.

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's Fattening Up Time!

We had a great time at the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, followed by the Southwest Wings Birding Festival in Sierra Vista, AZ. It's always great to see old friends and repeat customers. Plus we had some quality sight-seeing in-between shows. And lucky for us, we have a wonderful neighbor who took care of our hummers and orioles while we were away. Most of the orioles have already departed, but the hummers are fattening up for their journey south and the feeder activity is positively crazy!

Until we need to gear up for our holiday-shopping shows in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri, we'll take care of personal business and enjoy our hummers until they leave. Hopefully the bander will get back while we still have a ton of hummers!!!

Hummingbird fact for today: Most ruby-throated hummingbirds winter between southern Mexico and northern Panama. Since hummingbirds lead solitary lives and neither live nor migrate in flocks, an individual bird may spend the winter anywhere in this range where the habitat is favorable, but probably returns to the same location each winter.

Monday, July 25, 2016

LOTS of Hummers Here!

We were thrilled last week to have Veronica Mecko from the Missouri River Bird Observatory spend a couple of hours on our porch banding hummingbirds. She banded 7 in just a couple of hours, with the largest weighing in at 4 grams! We set one of her two mesh traps on an Ozarklake feeder and one on one of those ugly imported feeders. We're happy to report that all 7 of the birds were caught on the Ozarklake feeder!

Getting ready to head to Sedona for the Hummingbird Festival and then Southwest Wings Summer Birding Festival in Sierra Vista. So we're switching from our feeders (Ozarklake feeders) to the imported kind for the convenience of our birdsitter on a rainy day. They don't seem to be having any trouble adapting. And there's a couple more feeders on the back deck just as active as these. We're leaving 50 lbs. of sugar for and hope it is enough to last until we get home (2 weeks).


Hummingbird fact for today: The ruby-throated hummingbird has only approximately 940 feathers on its entire body.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Rain or Increased Population?

We're not sure if it is the cooler, rainy weather or if baby hummers have now fledged, but the activity has been like this for hours. And there are 4 more feeders that are not in the BirdCam's field of view. This is so much fun! And nearly a full-time job keeping up with making nectar and filling feeders.

We've been busy with wholesale orders. New shipments have gone out to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center in Texas, the Owl House in Michigan, and Beech Branch Gallery in Tennessee. If you're in the area, stop in and say howdy!

Getting ready for the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ, and Southwest Wings in Sierra Vista, AZ. We always see a lot of old friends in Sedona, and we're looking forward to our first visit in Sierra Vista. Not to mention that we're more than ready for a road trip!

Hummingbird fact for today: Basically, it is illegal in the United States to hold a hummingbird, a hummingbird nest, a hummingbird baby, or any part of a hummingbird, nest, or egg, in any type of captivity in any way, shape, or form. This means that unless you have a valid permit, it is illegal to trap, band, hold, harass, or control any hummingbird or any part of the hummingbird, nest, or egg.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In About Six Weeks

We should be positively overrun with hummers in about six weeks. We have had a lot of activity, but it is slowing down now, which means that the moms are sitting and incubating their eggs. Once hatched, she will feed the babies a mixture of nectar and tiny bugs. It takes about six weeks for the babies to be ready to leave the nest and come to the feeders. With the activity we have seen in May, the activity beginning in late June should be absolutely fantastic.

Beech Branch Crafts & Art Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN, and Stewart's Village Gallery in Waxhaw, NC, recently received new shipments of Ozarklake feeders.

We did two shows in Utah earlier this month. In between, we were able to visit Salt Lake City, Park City, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the historical air base at Wendover, and all points in between. Even made a little money at the casino in West Wendover, NV. Bill's sister and her husband drove in from Oregon and we had a mini family reunion, too! We had a great time.

We were thrilled to receive this note recently from someone we met in Utah:
I got some of these feeders at a Bird Festival last weekend. I put out a "onesie" yesterday because, according to the internet, hummingbirds should be around this time of year. I put it on my patio door, but I didn't expect to see any since it is under a semi-covered area. Also, I had not seen one single hummingbird yet this year. So I was really surprised to see one slurping away at my Onesie this morning! Thanks so much for all of your information , advice, and for helping me find an easy way to feed the hummers and also see them up close! 
We LOVE getting notes like this one!

We have nowhere to go until the Sedona Hummingbird Festival July 29-31 followed by the Southwest Wings Birding Festival August 3-6. So guess we'll spend the next few weeks taking care of personal things while we wait for our new crop of hummingbirds to show up at the feeders.

Hummingbird fact for today: The tiny nests of ruby-throated hummingbirds may be in hardwoods or evergreens from about three to 60 feet from the ground. Often they are situated in the crotch of in an outer, down-turned branch overhanging water, but there are many exceptions. The nest can be up to a mile or more from a good feeding area.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Retailer, New Shows, New Publicity

It's been an exciting week here! First, we sent off a shipment of Ozarklake feeders to a new-to-us retail location, Beech Branch Crafts & Art Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN. We shipped a re-order to the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center in Texas. We received word that we've been invited to participate in the Christmas Village in Nashville, TN, in November. And there is a wonderful article about us published today at Our Eyes Upon Missouri

Now we're off to the Festival des Fleurs in Lafayette, LA, and the Southwest Louisiana Garden Expo and Conference in Lake Charles, LA, the following weekend.

Whew! Makes us tired just reading about it!

Check out the hummingbird migration map! The ruby-throats are almost back in Missouri!

Hummingbird fact for today: One research study described a 3-gram hummingbird drinking 43 grams of sugar water in one day, a full 14 times its body weight.