Meet UCLA's hummingbird whisperer and her 200 colorful friends


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/28/meet-uclas-hummingbird-whisp.html


#2

Sugar in liquid form, and your every hummingbird’s friend.


#3

Hummingbirds are one of the real treats of visiting America. We don’t have anything like them over here in the UK, so it’s a delight to see (and hear) one of these gorgeous little animals zip into view.

Seriously jealous of all of you who can have them come and visit your gardens and workplaces.


#4

People often set those humming bird feeders out for them, and from what i’ve read they can be potentially harmful if not cleaned out regularly (every other day). There are some brands of nectar that also have dyes that are toxic to the hummingbirds (and people).

I’ve heard that a preferred method is to grow plants/flowers that hummingbirds like. Seems like a lower maintenance method, but if you do decide to have a feeder clean it often please :slight_smile:


#5

Follow up. For those in the US that are homeowners you can plant Bottlebrush trees, they’ve very wildlife friendly trees, easy to grow and resilient. Birds and bees often like to visit bottlebrush trees when they flower :slight_smile:


#6

Not to mention the mantises…


#7

Humming birds are totally cool little beasties but that lady’s love and fascination is just as awesome. Its delightful to know someone with such pure joy for natures gifts, in the case flying jewels.


#8

I’m amazed that so many of them can co-exist. I had a feeder for a few years and they’re so territorial that if a second showed up while one was feeding they’d fight until one left.


#9

Truth! I have a feeder up right now and there’s a little dude that hangs out in a nearby tree and zooms in to chase off any other hummingbirds who approach the feeder. I’m thinking about putting a second feeder up way on the other side of the yard so everyone gets a chance.


#10

I don’t know what the cause for the behavior might be. Does the hummingbird think that the entire feeder is a single “flower”? If so it would make sense that they would get upset that another bird is competing for their food source. Would they also get territorial over a flowering tree? I’m afraid i don’t know but curious to learn if someone knows the answer.


#11

Apparently hummingbirds can track which flowers they’ve visited and know how long it’s going to be until the nectar replenishes. Trying to run this mass location/schedule system in their heads with timer alerts popping off all the time–no wonder they get pissed off when another hummingbird throws it off!

Listening in on World of Hummingbird is probably like:
HUM1: "FF! You stole my flower I was going to hit it in 1.17 minutes! Stop camping my flowers you MFCS!"
HUM2: “LOLOLOL!”

Somehow those mass feeder swarms manage to classify it as some kind of infinite flower and not be territorial about it.


#12

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