The female ruby-throated hummingbird coaxed Paula into hanging a nectar-filled feeder outside the picture window, a prime spot, as it turns out, for Larry to try his hand at some bird photography of a different sort: he's been trying for a couple of years now to catch shots of our red-tailed hawks around Pleasant Township, and with his camera riding close at hand on the truck seat, he's also collected interesting pictures of wild turkeys and Canadian geese. Trying to catch photos of the darting, hovering 3-inch hummingbird as it feeds just inches away has proven to be a whole new challenge!
Local hummingbird experts tell us these little beauties are getting ready to migrate soon and are feeding even more voraciously than usual right now, so if you cook up some nectar (1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup boiling water, stirred well until thoroughly dissolved), and place a feeder near your window, deck, or patio, you might enjoy watching these tiny but mighty creations preparing for the next huge challenge of their lives! The experts say never use anything but everyday white sugar, and don't add any food coloring. These tiny marvels weigh barely more than a penny, but living at 90 wingbeats per second burns a whole lot of fuel! Even though 60% of their hourly diet is tiny insects and spiders, it's gonna require a lot of stored-up fuel to get them to their winter homes across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula!
To create a welcoming backyard habitat, try growing Beebalm and Penstemons for their late-summer blooms, and, if you can control it, a trumpet vine. Then find a comfy spot nearby, keep your camera ready, and watch!