Friday, September 11, 2009

Where do they nest?

I've been feeding hummingbirds (1:4 sugar water and native plants - monkeyflower, sage, penstamen, desert willow) and orioles for 5 years, (well, orioles for the last 3 or so years) and have been a little disappointed that I have not found any nests around the yard somewhere. I know it's not likely I would find an oriole nest (we have no fan palms). There are plenty of photos online of nests in unlikely places at peoples homes and friends around the area remark when they find one. What are the odds? I have tried to estimate the number of hummingbirds visiting each day and recently came across a suggestion that a gallon of sugar water per day may equate to 1000 birds. The last month has averaged 2-3 gallons per day - I'm hard pressed to imagine 2000-3000 birds. OK, so I do have bees - no shortage for sure. I have put thought and effort into 'bee proofing' and this year has been more effective. And there are (were) orioles. Given that hummingbirds can use all feeders and orioles can only use 'oriole feeders' and bees - maybe half of the food goes to hummingbirds. Still, 1000 birds and no nests to admire? Maybe next year ;)

Just got home and began feeder refill duties, heard the distinctive clunk coming from oriole feeder generally made by the orioles. Sure enough, saw one. Can't tell if it is a juvenile or adult female. Guess they are not all gone yet!

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