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Old August 5th, 2018, 11:04 PM
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Hummingbirds in the new garden

We had some yard work done last summer that wiped out the garden that surrounded the well. This spring I replanted the garden with some nectar-producing flowers. Not all of the plants will bloom this year, but some Cardinal-flowers that I received from friends' gardens evidently are pretty happy in their new home because they're blooming! (Yay! For a bad gardener like me, survival of plants is a definite bonus )

I've been seeing hummingbirds in the flowers for a week now, but they seemed pretty camera shy. They tolerate me well, but the second they see the camera, they usually bug out. Today, though, for the first time, I was able to capture some shots of the hummingbirds enjoying those Cardinal-flowers--and I can't tell you how much of a thrill it gave me!

Name:  Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding at Cardinal-flower 8-5-18 A.jpg
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Name:  Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding at Cardinal-flower 8-5-18 B.jpg
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And this little guy, resting after his luncheon...

Name:  Ruby-throated hummingbird resting on Cardinal-flower 8-5-18.jpg
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Old August 6th, 2018, 11:44 PM
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Hello Hazel:

Beautiful pictures of your Hummingbirds.... they are all Ruby-throat females - and Ruby-throat Hummers are all that we get on this side of the Mississippi. The other more exotic hummers are on the other side and out to the west coast and down into Mexico and South America.

What kind of flower is the Cardinal flowers - is there another name for them? because we've never heard of it.

We have had a lot of hummers this year - more so than in past years. And we don't have any flowers to speak of - just the good old hummer feeder - and we've had to fill it about every 2 or 3 days cause the young are around now.

The only flowers we have are a few annuals that we got and planted them in a few boxes that hang on the railing around the front porch, but that's it.
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Old August 7th, 2018, 10:06 AM
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really nice captures HRP!
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Old August 7th, 2018, 10:46 AM
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Thanks, Marko. Light was too harsh, but the flowers regenerate nectar fastest (and therefore get the most traffic) when they're in direct sun.

Reg, yes, all Ruby-throated hummingbirds but the one in the second shot is a hatch year male. See the dots on the throat? By next spring, the dots will be magically transformed into that glorious metallic ruby gorget.

We've had quite a few birds through the breeding season but we had 3 days of torrential rain in late June. I think it wiped out most of the local broods. Our migration apparently peaked on Aug 4th, at least a week sooner than normal, and the numbers are declining as the adults migrate. Juveniles migrate later than adults, so we may get a smaller peak in a few days as hatch year birds from farther north come through on their way to wintering grounds.

Just to compare how many fewer visitors we're getting, we normally go through about 21 cups of nectar a day during the peak of the migration. This year, we topped out at 16 - 17 cups and we're already back down to 4 feeders and only about 12 - 13 cups consumed a day. Sort of sad, but it does make for a more relaxing August.
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Old August 7th, 2018, 10:53 AM
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Oh, Reg--forgot to say that Cardinal-flowers are in the Lobelia family. Lobelia cardinalis

I also have some Great Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) blooming nearby that happens to be more of a bluish color:

Name:  Great lobelia 8-21-16.jpg
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Hummingbirds like them both. Bot are native plants in this area, which in part explains why I can grow them (they need no close attention from me, therefore are more likely to survive my green, but moldy, thumb )

Not sure if the cardinal-flowers have another name. I've seen it as Cardinal Flower or Cardinal Plant, too, but always with Cardinal as part of the name.
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Last edited by hazelrunpack; August 7th, 2018 at 04:49 PM.
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