HARVEY AND THE HUMMERS


FIGHTING FOR THE NECTAR IN OUR BACK YARD

September is the time of year when thousands of hummingbirds  make their way south for the winter.  This section of the Gulf Coast seems to be right on their migratory path.  The 29th annual  Hummerbird Celebration that was scheduled for Sept. 15-17 was canceled as the Fulton-Rockport area is recovering from Hurricane Harvey.  The festival provides education about the visitors as well as an opportunity to see them close up; many people put up dozens of feeders up and open their yards to the public. This year residents and businesses are busy  making repairs and trying to get back to normal so a festival in the midst of chaos was just not possible.

A few days after Harvey left I saw my first hummingbird in the back yard and got out my three feeders and mixed some nectar for them. I was sure there would not be a Hummerbird Celebration this year and worried about these tiny jewels that normally feast on flowers and feeders in the area.  Even in my neighborhood we were still dealing with downed fences, repairs and downed trees.  But the birds were not forgotten.

As they began their annual descent upon the Fulton-Rockport area volunteers started to help and donations came in for them as well as those affected by the storm.  Wild Bird Unlimited stores collected donations and sent feeder kits complete with poles for hanging.  Winter Texans sent money.  The crew from the King Ranch’s nature- tour brought 100 Best-1 Feeders  made in Poteet , Texas.  Outdoor writer for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times David Sikes wrote:

                                    “The ranch’s nature staff decided not to burden Rockport residents with DIY hummingbird kits, white they were in the throes of the storm.  So the King Ranch crew began filling and putting out feeders themselves at six Aransas Pathways nature sites.

    Aransas Pathways is a collection of sites in the county aimed at creating and preserving nature area and historical treasures for locals and visitors.

     Attached to the feeders is a laminated note, explaining how folks can adopt a feeder.  This would involve keeping the feeders filled and clean.  Within a week or so seven had been adopted.”

WHEN THE FEEDER WAS NOT SO CROWDED

Some locals have put up feeders amid the debris  just to make it more normal and help restore life to the community.  Most of the flowering plants and shrubs that the hummers feed on were torn apart by Harvey’s winds.  The mayor of Rockport and local companies have encouraged aid for the hungry travelers.  In the fall they come south and cross the Gulf of Mexico to Mexico and Central America; in spring they make the return trip north.  I will keep my feeders up until they are gone.  Usually the last ones move on by the end of October but I always leave one up for the stragglers.  When spring comes I will welcome them back!  Right now they are keeping me busy refilling them at least twice a day.

THIS ONE SHOWS MORE OF THEIR IRIDESCENT COLOR.

RECIPE FOR ARTIFICIAL NECTAR (SYRUP)
1.  Use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.
2.  Boil the water 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the sugar while the water is still hot.  Let cool before filling the feeder.
Store unused syrup in refrigerator for as long as 2 weeks.

  PHOTOS BY HUSBAND

70 thoughts on “HARVEY AND THE HUMMERS

  1. The morning after Harvey I found a hummer desperately clutching to a torn branch. I picked him up, removed his tiny feet from the branch and warmed him in my hand as I surveyed the damage. After I released him, he stayed with my all day as a reminder that all was not lost in the storm.

    Like

    • This was only one of many stories of humans helping to rescue animals during and after the storm. These days we need a reason to believe in the goodness of humanity as we share the good and bad of our home, Earth. Thanks for taking time to read and comment!

      Like

  2. How wonderful! I did not know that your part of the world is a Mecca for these tiny travelers. We get them up north as well but the show is small compared to your spectacle. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Jo, hummingbirds are such magical little creatures! I’ve loved them since I was a little girl and they would patronize my grandmother’s trumpet vine. I also love that in the midst of repairing and rebuilding, that people still manage to come together and help these little birds. The monarch butterflies migrate through our area this time every year, and I have lots of zinnias and lantana flowers for them. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I am sure they loved the trumpet vine! We have simplified our back yard and don’t have any plants in the ground. I have pulled all of my potted plants to the patio but do have a few that have red blooms and they hit those too. They will even hit my basil. They are magical and work so hard to travel far. People are amazing sometimes! Nice to have you visit – wish I could offer you some refreshment. Have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is so wonderful, to have such precious little visitors. I would also love to visit Corpus and you also someday! I’ve actually never been there, I’ve been to South Padre, but never Corpus. I surely need to fix that at some point 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t always have this many but they have been abundant this year. They stay for about 2-3 weeks and then they are gone except for the occasional straggler. They would love to feast on the flowers in your colorful garden. I only have a few flowering pots on the patio.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have made my day! I love love hummingbirds and am in the process of mourning the fact that they have left me now in New England. When we lived in the SF Bay area, we had plenty from March to November. But in NE, we’re lucky when we spy our first one in late May, and then they ‘fly the coop,’ so to speak, by late September. How fortunate you are to get this influx of the fairy bird, and for Texans to be so loving and welcoming to these special visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad I could make you feel good! I will miss these when they are gone as I feel responsible to feed them as long as they are here for these 2-3 weeks. I hear that in some places in California they stay all year and are really colorful ones of may types. This area of Texas is great for birding so I was not surprised that there was support. Whooping cranes winter near Rockport. Thanks for visiting my coop! Must check up on you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that so many people are helping the hummingbirds! When a natural disaster hits, our thoughts usually just focus on the human victims, but so many other creatures are hurt as well. Thanks for this post…it is so good to hear some positive news. You guys rock!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much! There were many rescue stories coming out of the Houston area where there was so much flooding. Large and small animals were not forgotten and some were rescued from the high water along with their humans. Some of the shelters took in all kinds of animals. I think you would have done the same to help! Always a pleasure to have to make a visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. They seem so fragile to fly across the Gulf of Mexico but some do make it. They sort of mark the seasons for us. We have white pelicans that come in the fall and spend the winter with us. They fly in flocks while the hummers fly alone. Thanks for stopping by my feeder!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How absolutely wonderful that you aid these lovely little birds on their great migration, even in the face of the devastation caused by the hurricane. Nature is wonderful and it certainly helps us connect with something very special such as these little guys going about their rituals as though nothing has happened. Loved this post! A

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the just went on with their plans despite the hurricane. I can imagine them stopping a little longer somewhere until it passed and they they kept on going south. They were not going to let a little storm keep them from their ritual. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post! Thanks for stopping by my feeder! Always a pleasure to hear your voice!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Likely the hummers are feasting on your flowers as long as they can. Sadly, I only have a few flowers in pots on the patio to offer them but I do keep the three feeders filled and clean. We do what we can for as long as they are here. I still worry about them a bit as they continue on their journey. Husband took a really good video of them but I can’t put them in my blog but did upload it on Facebook. Stay out of trouble whenever possible!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I first heard about the efforts on behalf of the hummers from a blogger in Austin. This is a wonderful followup, and I’ll pass the news on to her. I know she’ll be as pleased as I am to hear some of the details of how this has worked out.

    This coming weekend is the traditional Harvest Moon Regatta out of Lakewood Yacht Club here in the Clear Lake Area. For the first time in years (or maybe forever), the race won’t be going to Port Aransas: for obvious reasons. It’s grieved a lot of us to see Rockport, Fulton, and Port A so damaged, but there also have been wonderful stories of people helping people — and creatures — there.

    One of the things I’ve noticed here is an unusually large proliferation of late milkweeds. Perhaps nature, too, is trying to help out some of her creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somewhere I read that help had come from Austin, maybe one of the stores. Please let her know we tried. I still have six or more feeding here. It is good that you have more milkweed this year as the natural would be better but we have taken over much of their territory as humans. I have a few flowers on the patio so I feel good that they can have a little something natural.

      I had forgotten all about the Harvest Mood Regatta! A friend and her husband from Oklahoma always come down for it. Maybe next year the area will be ready for it. It will take time but people are determined to overcome. The Rockport Seafair will be held Oct. 12-15 which surprised me, but people want some normalcy. Not many hotels are open so they are depending on local support. All the best to you. Thanks for taking time to read and share. Must visit you!

      Like

    • It is nice to be able to help them on their journey. The one you saw must have loved the Turk’s cap. I don’t think I have ever seen a black-chinned. Most of the ones I see are plain with just green on the body. There are many ruby-throated and we have seen the larger buff-bellied but not this year. Thanks for taking time to visit my blog and comment. Must check out your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. How wonderful to be able to feed the tiny jewels. I am so glad to see the marvelous pictures of the little darlings. I has a couple of pairs all summer that came to nectar on the Turks Cap, Flame Acanthus and Tropical Scarlett Sage. I have not seen a hummer in several days now. I don’t use feeders simply because I have the flowers for the birds to feed from. I was thrilled to see all the hummers hovering and zooming around your feeders. Thank goodness for sugar water and sturdy feeders.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know Jo, I wondered How the birds fared.. I heard on the Islands that were hit hard, the bird song had gone.. No parrots or other birds to be seen..
    So This post is like nectar to me ears, seeing that you are all of you thinking of these tiny beautiful birds even in the midst of your own renovations and getting things back in order..
    I love hummingbirds but we do not have them here only in special aviaries where its kept to a more tropical climate.
    These photos are special.. Thank you Jo.. 🙂 ❤ Much LOVE xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jo Nell I am absolutely over the moon with wonderment with your flock of hummingbirds. We have several feeders hanging in the garden but never ever have I seen anything like your show. We do have hummingbirds that stay all winter – we call them “the locals”. They are thrilling. Cheers Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your photo credit, Jo Nell: “Photos by Husband.” I’m grinning my head off. What kind of credit is that? You’re supposed to give the esteemed photographer his name!
    Anyway, for your sins — since you made me laugh — may I please ask a favour? Can you please email me? I assume my email comes up below this comment. Does it?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Crone, this is lovely! I adore hummingbirds , tiny jewels of nature, it’s wonderful what’s happening there following the storm. I must replace my own feeder that’s leaking , I appreciate the recipe and have saved it. Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I should have known you would appreciate the tiny jewels. I find that the simple ones are the best although the fancy ones are tempting. The recipe is easy and always available if you don’t run out of sugar. We still have two hanging around. Cheers! And thanks for the visit to my feeder!

      Like

Comments are always welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s