As more and more flowers continue to bloom, hummingbirds become more frequent visitors to our garden.
They dart around so quickly from flower to flower, and are normally so shy, that I’ve had no photos to share with you; though we see them daily now.
We’ve identified at least four different hummingbirds who frequent the garden.
But one was kind enough to visit with me at the Stump Garden late on Sunday afternoon .
Returning from a walk to a friend’s home, I stopped to take photos of the newly blooming Gladiolus.
And while I was busy snapping away from various angles, I heard the whirring buzz of a hummingbird zooming into the garden to sample the Glad’s nectar.
He was so comfortable hovering inside the huge Glad blossom, that he ignored me and my clicking, chiming camera entirely.
The Hummingbird zoomed from blossom to blossom, and then paused to rest on a leaf.
All the while I’m happily taking his portrait.
And by observing, I learned.
Conventional wisdom holds that hummingbirds prefer red flowers.
Supposedly, that is why the plastic hummingbird kits come with gaudy red and yellow feeders and bright red Kool-Aid like mix with which to fill them.
But our little guy was sipping first from blue Glads, then white catnip flowers, and finally from the tiny purple flowers of our Coleus, growing in the pot on the stump.
Did you know Hummingbirds would drink from Coleus flowers? I normally break those off as a part of “grooming” the Coleus for more leaf production!
But there he was, hovering beautifully high up in the air, drinking as happily from the Coleus as from the reddest Canna, Salvia, or Fuschia.
Hummingbirds need to consume half their weight in sugar, daily, just to survive. They prefer flowers which offer nectar of 25%-35% sugar content.
They can starve in a matter of hours when food isn’t available.
“Feed them and they will come.”
Good advice, especially in the world of wildlife gardening. And it always amazes me to see how many different species will show up for the feast, once the garden blooms each summer.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014