Holler Hummer Home~

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This hummingbird has quite a long tongue for a tiny little creature doesn’t he?
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It’s good to be home, because the Holler Hummer’s live here, and I missed them!
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I counted 35 today, at our three, 40 ounce feeders.
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Anna’s, Black Chinned, Allen’s and Rufous hummingbirds live at The Holler.
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I read in an online hummingbird forum that people don’t believe that feeders get more than one or two birds each.
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They should stop by The Holler around 6pm when each feeder is mobbed by more than 10 hummers.
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Hummers have the largest brain to body mass of any bird in the world i.e., they are clever little buzzers.
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These tiny birds can migrate 1000’s of miles.
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But many call the Holler home year round.
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Which is why, there is no place like home!
Cheers to you from the astonishing, numerous, and quite clever, Holler Hummers~

290 thoughts on “Holler Hummer Home~

      • I think the air force should study them! Maybe they do. These creatures are the most phenomonal fliers in the airspace of the earth. They hover. They are the only bird that flies backwards. They do figure 8’s in the air before I can catch it with my camera. I love hawks, and they live here. It is an easy detante between hawks and hummers at The Holler. Hawks spend their time pursuing creatures they have a greater probability to catch!

  1. Those are amazing photos! I never knew hummingbirds had those iridescent green feathers–they’re always moving so quickly. I’ve seen them once or twice here, but nothing like what you have! Beautiful!

  2. I love Hummingbirds. We have some every year, they like the feeder, but they although hang out on my plants. The pictures are stunning. May I ask what camera you use? I am planning to buy a camera soon and would like to get some input.

      • I can imagine! They are so cute! I have a coworker who has feeders and one flew in to his window and he thought it was gone so he picked it up and it started blinking and then flew off! I have photos of it! If that was me I would have known what to do! He said Momma Kitty saw him fall so good thing he picked it up! He said it flew over to the fence and sat there are awhile! They are amazing little birds! πŸ˜„

      • This is so remarkable you said this. Some cats pick up incapacitated hummingbirds and bring them intact to their owners, as if to say please fix this. Of course many cats would kill them when incapacitated, but the one’s that don’t, count on their owners to save them. Some domestic dogs do the same thing. It is nothing short of amazing.

  3. Delighted you are home for a bit and oh the lovely pictures of the hummers. Of course multiples feed from one source. In Monterey and NC both we’d often have 10 or more at a large feeder. Like you, we used the largest feeders we could find. I loved having some of the blown glass feeders around the garden but those always started fights, even when I filled them with nothing but water. I set up the fly-through hummer shower but with a heat index of 105, nothing is moving, not even me – except to water and such. You have perfect shots.

      • Yes, I have dealt with the territorial issue too. But hummers do, also, in fact cooperate. You can see the difference most clearly when the sun starts to set, and all hummers become friends, since at night they don’ fly. For survival they need to stop fighting and eat to get through the night. Bickering stops like magic near sunset.

  4. Multiple hummingbirds!!! That is so special for me here in the north east US. We have a couple here and some opportunists swinging by.
    I am still in awe at a group of them – right there!
    Wonderful capture Cindy!

  5. Beautiful shots of these darling birds! We’ve never had more than two at one time feeding, so I’m blown away at how many hungry guests you have! Must be magic in those feeders, ha!

    • I think they must like all the empty acres and orchards around The Holler. They certainly are not the least bit afraid of us. They buzz in a stationary manner a couple inches from my nose when they want me to fill the feeders!

    • Sharon, I am going to check out this organization. Sounds like an organization I should learn about . I am going to post the orioles and orange eaters next. We have a station going for them and we are getting slews of citrus and nectar eating birds, some I need to look up, as I don’t know what they are! Thank you my friend for your support of the wild birds, for the reblog, and for introducing me to this organization!

    • I went over the course of seven years at The Holler, from 8 ounce feeders, to 16 ounce, to 32, to 40, and now I have 40 ouncers and one big gulp, a 72 ouncer!

  6. Yay, more hummingbird pictures! Can’t get enough of them, and you have such a great photo opportunity with such a population there! Your hummers are more willing to share than ours.

    Once, I’d taken Nikita outside in her travel cage and we were sitting off to one side, behind our man-made waterfall (which offered a barrier between the feeder and our table), a good 15 feet away and one lone ruby-throat had the guts to try to chase us away! It was so funny. He flashed his ruby throat at Nikita first (but she just sat still, casually, in the middle of her cage – not understanding the hummer’s body language maybe). Then he pivoted and flashed his ruby throat at me. Interesting that he’d dare gang up on 2 bigger animals sitting side by side! πŸ˜› ~Lynn

    • Either that or he liked one or both of you! πŸ˜‰ It is interesting that hummers do that fly 60 feet up in the air, hover, and then dive bomb down at something, for a couple of reasons, for fun, (heck I would do it if I could), for mating purposes to impress a mate, and to attack. Laughing, so I’m not sure if he was threatening you guys, showing off, or liking you! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

      • True! Either way, whether he was there hatin’ or lovin’ us, it was such a miraculous treat to see him hovering within several inches of our faces! I was sooo happy when it happened! πŸ™‚

      • Yes exactly. Nikita and you knew, you were both very fortunate for the up close perusal, albeit, puzzled by it. Hummingbirds are essentially puzzling

  7. What glorious captures Cindy – the hummers long tongues and little claws always amaze me and you’ve captured them beautifully! πŸ™‚

  8. I can’t believe that they all co-exist so peacefully. Four feeders here…and you could get seriously knocked on the head as they dive bomb each other for a space at them!

    • Laughing, hummingbirds have definite personalities! I had one bully who made life in Hollerdom a hassle. I had to move feeders because he was such a tyrant. He kept a 16 ounce feeder to himself, and drove off any other bird that tried to feed. I was in the ludicrous position of chasing him off. Can’t you just picture this? This goliath chasing off the lilliputian bully? Moving the feeders broke up his monopoly. He reminded me of Donald Trump for heaven’s sake. But our current crop of buzzers are exemplary and most well behaved.
      Let’s just hope it lasts! πŸ˜‰

      • I think he found his way here. I have one that tries to guard three feeders simultaneously. It’s pretty hilarious. I think they take turns being the decoy, while the others swoop in for a quick drink.

      • Laughing, yes! These are strategic, cognitive little creatures. I sometimes wonder who has the other figured out better, the hummerbirds, or me.
        I think it would have to be the hummingbirds.

  9. We are envious you have so many kinds! We just get the Rufous here in the midwest. We’ve been to AZ hoping to catch a variety but haven’t had much luck yet.

    • We even have Costas! They have the flasing purple necks and I got some good shots of them. I hear there are hybrids now too, but I am not expert enough to identify them. People have really helped hummingbird populations grow by planting hummer friendly plants and hanging feeders. I hear they are as far up as Alaska now!

    • Man, do these guys guzzle! You would not believe how many 10 pound bags of sugar I buy for them! Grocery checkers ask me, “Are you doing a lot of baking?”
      When I say no, they look at me strangely. πŸ˜‰ On top of all this nectar, they eat over one hundred bugs a day for protein. They are big little eaters!

  10. Beautiful clear and detailed photos Cindy; as always!
    However, I hear that the hummers hitch a ride up north on the backs of Canadian Geese. If you can capture a picture of that happening please post it.
    Take care,
    wally

  11. This may sound silly but when I saw the title, I knew who you would be featuring and I felt slight sigh go through me, “Cindy’s home again!” Home Sweet home with nectar and the charming πŸ™‚ hummimgbirds. Did you have someone stop by daily to keep them satisfied?

    • Oh, yes The Holler is never unattended. There are critters here and we have family taking care of things. I so love the hummers so your comments make me happy Robin. Thank you. Sometimes I worry, that I may bore people with them, but they never, ever, bore me.

    • They are pretty awesome. I don’t know what they feel like to me, not pets because they are wild, but part of us somehow. They live with us here, many of them year round. We are part of each other’s lives and it is incredible.

    • I think this is an Allen. There are more this year. I saw a few last year, but there are more now. We have permanent resident hummers, lots of them, but we are at peak numbers now, as some will migrate thousands of miles south, across oceans, back to Mexico and Central America. It is so incredible. We silly humans may have borders, but they fly over them.

    • Hummingbirds connect us to something mystical. The ancient peoples in South and Central America carved gigantic hummingbird outlines in the rock, only visible from nearby mountains. They are still there today. You can only still see these giant carvings from elevation. It was like the ancient people went high and drew massive hummingbirds low. How did they do this? Why did they do this?
      Tiny hummingbirds tell us we are all part of something so much bigger. It is up to us to puzzle out what it is.

  12. That’s just really something Cindy! They seem to be ok about sharing the feast. I’ve been changing the food in my feeder every two days for a month, hoping that one would find my feeder. No luck so far. I used to have them all the time at the lake but so far in the city I haven’t seen them. How often do you need to fill up your feeder? Do you have someone do it for you while you’re away? Thanks for sharing your wonderful little visitors with us πŸ˜€ x

    • This is super important, so thank you so much for asking. Hummers die from fungus in improperly maintained feeders. I’m conservative regarding feeders. A feeder should be changed every 3 days, but Holler hummer consume all the sugar water, in 24 hours so I never have to do this. Plus the feeders need to be sterilized in hot summer months every time you change them. With glass feeders I use boiling water. With plastic I use diluted bleach, rinsed out repeatedly. Hummingbirds do not rely on sugar water entirely, they catch tons of bugs for protein. But the Holler feeders are always up.
      In your situation it seems the lake was where the hummers want to be, so you will get bigger numbers there. They can be lured though, and you are right, to wait for one. Once one finds your feeder, others will come.

      • I got some nice natural soap from Wendy at Qtr Acre Lifestyle and had been using it for cleaning my feeder which is a good plastic one from ‘Wild Birds Unlimited. I’ll start to incorporate the diluted bleach too, thanks for sharing that. Next year, I’ll get it out earlier.

      • I was thinking of another thing that might help and that is having other birds feeders around, but I bet you already do this. Birds do seem to got check out where other birds are hanging out to see what the big attraction is! We have a large capacity seed feeder at The Holler that brings in dozens of birds daily and a jelly/citrus feeder for the orioles and citrus eaters. The Holler is filled with wild birds, plus we planted bird and butterfly attracting plants, so the combination seems to work beyond my expectations! Good luck and I hope it works.

  13. What amazing tongues! We don’t have humming birds here in Australia. It was also interesting to read about the brain to body ratio. Stunning close-ups, Cindy. Well done.

    • The tongues are pretty incredible aren’t they. They use them to snag small bugs in flight like gnats and fruit flies. They have to catch and eat over a hundred of these daily!

  14. Amazing live-action shots. They dart about so quickly just getting them in frame seems near impossible. This first photo with the hummer’s tongue sticking out — incredible. If I counted the number of times I’ve seen hummers in my life it wouldn’t equal 35. You are one lucky woman. πŸ˜€

    • One of the feeders is about five feet from where I am typing. These birds are my close companions. I have the screen in the window removed so I can shoot them when the light is right. They will buzz to the opening and hover suspended there when the feeder is empty. They seem utterly fearless around people at The Holler. They are a complete joy.

      • The couple of hummers I have come right up to the side of my head when I am gardening but laugh at me and zim away when I try to take a pic. I too have left a screen out so I can get photos in my back yard. πŸ˜€

      • Have you noticed when you water your garden if the spray the hose in a mist they will come up to your face, buzz you, and then take a shower? They crack me up!

  15. I reckon it’s gotta be clever in order to avoid damage to that enormously long beak – it must really have a high sense of space, distance, weight etc – amazing looking bird

    • You’re right, their spatial awareness must be incredible, particularly when you consider the speed with which they dart around. They seem somewhat flawless in flight, rarely making an error. Their only weakness is glass windowpanes which they occasionally hit but only when fighting. I have only seen this happen twice and in both cases the bird, though stunned, recovered.

    • You are so kind Patty! Thank you, but I am strictly an untaught amateur. There is too much I don’t know. I should probably take some classes myself, but why bother? Maybe not taking a class, and just doing it works best for me. It would be fun to hang out with people taking photos and sharing them though, like a photo club or something, that I could do.
      I remember I was asked to teach a class once on personal financial management. My husband thought this was the funniest thing he had ever heard. This is really a subject in which I do not excel! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  16. Cindy, you the the best hummer shots, ever! Since I don’t do a lot of wildlife photography, I’ve never invested in a good telephoto, but your shots always make me wish I had one! And your skill and eye! Beautiful!

    • I’ve seen big numbers on feeders in Costa Rica. I hear there is a man nearby who has a daily tally of around 300 hummers. Apparently he can’t leave his house since he is continually putting up feeders. I have reached my feeder limit i think! πŸ˜‰

  17. You captured beautifully one of my favorite birds. When I lived in Colorado Springs they were one of my favorite sites – had one even buzz me when I was napping during a fishing trip on Pikes Peak. They thought my red cap was a feeder I guess LOL.

  18. Yes, my favorite mini birds have returned and coincidentally, I saw one flying in front of my car this morning as I was heading to work. Thank you “HW”

  19. I think they have all come swarming round to say “welcome back we missed you Cindy”. Did any one keep their feeders topped up while you were away? As always the photos are stunning.

  20. So funny Cindy I was just thinking about you and wondering if you were home yet! So perfect timing that I would see your fantastic post and those wonderful hummingbirds – love it! Welcome home and I’ll bet they really missed you ~

    • Now I have five feeders going. I had to give the orioles their own feeder because they tipped over the hummingbirds. So they have a feeder with oranges, jelly and nectar that has attracted tons of citrus and nectar feeders including goldfinch and 3 pairs of orioles. The seed feeder is Jim’s job and it attracts everyone, and their brother(s)! I was looking out the window just now going, wow we have a lot of birds! And the 40 ounce hummingbird feeder I filled at sunset is already empty! You need to come by The Holler sometime Fae! <3

      • Oh, how beautiful it must be to watch the birds.
        I will visit you at Holler sometime. πŸ™‚
        For his new job, my son has moved from Phoenix to Orange County. I doubt if we’d drive to visit him (vs flying), but when there is a purpose, anything is possible! πŸ™‚

    • At The Holler they are downright chummy. Right now is peak numbers at the feeders, more then ten vying for three 8 space feeders, and they share quite nicely. They want to bulk up before it gets dark when they don’t fly, so they don’t waste energy squabbling!

  21. Oh Cindy, they are lovely! I do love hummingbirds. The smallest ones I have seen have been hovering around the plants across the road from our cafΓ© where I enjoy a drink and a book or some chatting with friends in the evening… πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Lea! Wonderful to hear from you my friend and hope you are well. Hummingbirds are pretty special aren’t they! They only live in the Americas, but have moved up recently to Alaska. It wouldn’t surprise me if they fly on over to Europe. Actually, it would! I am betting what you saw was a hummingbird moth or hawk moth. They resemble hummingbirds in an uncanny way, but are insects. I’m sure you did see hummers in NoCaly though, my daughter is feeding a bunch up there. Wish I could join you in the evening at the cafe~ <3 <3

      • Hi Cindy! That is interesting as I am no expert but they certainly looked the real thing and besides, who wouldn’t want to hang around our lovely gardens? I was surprised but just enjoyed the little things regardless. Let me know when you are this way again as I know a lovely little cave that produces the best wine. They do wine and tapas from late June through most of August and it is only 7 km from my house…

  22. Cindy, these images are incredible. I never get more than two coming to the feeder. They are so much fun to watch. Have them also in my outdoor fountain taking a bath. I love these little guys.
    Hugs! Veraiconica

  23. I always run out of superlatives when I come by here. It makes it hard to comment!! But once again, I find your hummer images so compelling and engaging and, well, brilliant, that I can’t help hanging around and thanking you for sharing them. They (the birds *and* the images) are dazzling.

    I’ve probably asked you before what camera(s?) you use and where you got your mad photo skills, but I’ve forgotten, and they continue to astonish me. More than thatβ€”though it’s arguable that in your previous professional occupation you had tremendous motivation to learn how to notice all sorts of minute detail and appreciate its significanceβ€”your innately artful eye for spotting, framing, and executing a beautiful image is one of the chief delights of visiting here.

    In short, I thank you again and always. Hope you’re having a glorious summer, despite the untoward dryness of the climate in recent months. Cheers and hugs to you and all of your Holler menagerie. Long may you wave!

    Kath

    • It is people like you and kindness like this, that makes me love blogging so. It is such a joy and privelege to be part of this creative, talented and kind blogging community.
      Your words touched my heart and motivate me to keep on bloggin! Thank you Kath.
      My camera is a sony hx400. It has built in zoom up to 1200mm equivalent. It is a powerhouse of a camera and quite inexpensive considering what many people pay for their cameras.
      Thank you again my friend for your lovely words and be well~

  24. Wow. I have 2 feeders and several Rubby throated hummers come but never at the same time – whoever gets there first keeps it till he/she is done – chases the other away……

    • This seems to be the norm for lots of people. Our population at The Holler is too large to allow such monoplies. We have a least 35 actively feeding hummingbirds here. We seem to get a few more each year. I am looking now at two feeders, 16 ports, 15 feeding birds and several buzzing around.

  25. I do have a quick question… It seems that one of our large feeders the juice smells funky. should we change to a smaller feeder or? There is no lack of birds feeding from it, but I can’t see it tastes good after it smells like that. Just sugar and water, anything else?

    • I have a few 72 ounce feeders. I rarely use them. Only when 50 or more birds are feeding. I don’t like to leave sugar water out in the summer for more than 2 days. I like glass feeders best with hard plastic bases because in the summer I pour boiling water in the feeders and over the bases with every refill. In the summer, at The Holler no feeder is up for more than 24 hours because the hummers drain it. If it smells off, I would guess it’s fermenting. I would throw out the mixture. If your feeder is sturdy glass, fill it with boiling water and let it soak for a few minutes. Also pour boiling water over the base. Note: Only do this with sturdy plastic bases and sturdy glass feeders or they will melt/break. If your feeder is plastic, soak all the parts in a bleach/water mixture. Then rinse repeatedly in hot water to remover every trace of bleach. This should sterilize your feeders.
      Go ahead and rehang them with a 1/4 ratio white sugar to water. Change them and repeat the sterilization during the hot days of summer.
      When the temps start to dip in fall, and the numbers of hummers are reduced, I relax. Feeders can stay up for 3 days, and sterilization can go to every third or so refill.
      I do live in a place with hot summer days and I know this is rather rigorous, but I want to be careful with the hummers. Good luck & hope this works!

  26. Great pictures. My work is street photography. Today I tried capturing birds in flight. Very different and difficult. Loads of failure. So you pictures have inspired me to try again. Once again excellent captures.

    • The hardest for me are birds high in the sky. It is something that you just do and your hand eye coordination catches up with your wishes pretty quickly, plus it is fun to practice. I find it easier to photograph birds I live around because I get used to their patterns. It is much harder when I travel to get shots of flying birds. Good luck & I look forward to seeing your results. I love your photography.

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  30. We started spring planting with thoughts of flowers likely to attract hummingbirds. The one that was most successful was a salvia called “Black and Bloom.” The flower is a dark purple color, and the hummers love it. BUT the surprise was a perennial that grows in the pond called “Thalia.” It’s a very tall plant with several branches, each containing bracts of flowers. The hummers head there first thing and stay a while! An unexpected and delightful surprise for us!

    • We planted to attract hummers and butterflies too. It certainly works. One of our century plants is blooming now and I have never seen such interest by all the nectar loving birds. It’s flower stalk is about thirty feet tall and it is hosting a whole city of nectar lovers, including bees.

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