Ruby-throated hummingbird at dusk

I did not realize this was a male until I saw the flash of red.  I sat outside near the feeder for a hour at sunset into dusk, and I saw the hummingbird visit the feeder 8-10 times.  He was attentive to his surroundings when he left the feeder to rest on a branch, probably making sure no other hummingbirds would come near his feeder.  Hummingbirds are extremely territorial.  I’ve learned they love our flowering quince.

East of the Mississippi, the only breeding hummingbirds to be seen are the ruby-throats.  They are dazzlingly enough for me.  An appropriate nectar is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, with no food coloring.  Store the nectar in a refrigerator for up to a week.

It is important not to rely too much on binoculars when watching hummingbirds.  By the time you have focused in on them, they have flown elsewhere.  Teach children to watch the feeder, train their on eye on it, and be aware of the slightest movement in their field of vision.  Focusing on a stationary object like the feeder is the surest way to bring a fleeting glimpse of the hummingbird into sight.

In other news, we think the robin who made her nest in the rhubarb has disappeared.  For the third day, there is only one egg in her nest.  The Carolina wren is still incubating, and the phoebe babies are doing well.  Bluebird babies vigorous as well.  They are probably over a week old, while the phoebes are only a few days old.

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