Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

The garden is so quiet now that the hummingbirds have left for the season. All summer long, they buzz in like little helicopters and chase each other around the garden.

We first see them around Memorial Day at our rhododendrons. They entertain us all summer, then begin their migration south just after Labor Day. The males leave first, and about 2 weeks later the females and their babies follow. Most ruby-throated hummingbirds winter in southern Mexico or Central America.
Hummingbirds like brightly colored tubular flowers. Their favorite flower in my garden is Red Bee Balm, Monarda didyma. They also like my impatiens, fuchsia, petunia, columbine, foxglove, daylily, coral bells, hosta, phlox, geranium, nasturtium, and marigolds.

I hang out a hummingbird feeder with artificial nectar made by dissolving 1 Cup Sugar into 4 Cups of water. Boil, then cool before filling the feeder. This year I alternated between 2 feeders so I could clean one while the other was being used. I look forward to their return next year!

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