Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘hummingbird feeders’

Quick Re-Visit Of Somethings

Posted by terrepruitt on August 31, 2016

I have some follow up information on some of the posts I have posted:

I made another batch of Sweet and Savory Mixed Nuts, actually I made two.  I made one like before actually sweet and savory, and I made a sweet and spicy.  I didn’t measure the cayenne pepper, I just sprinkled a lot more in the mixture.  I also found a packet of crushed hot red pepper flakes in the refrigerator, ya know the kind you get when you order pizza to be delivered?  I used a package of those.  So I don’t know how much that is.  But last I heard it was a good amount.  When I first told John he said, “Is that all?”  And I reminded him I am not really trying to make them HOT, just give them a little warmth.  But then he ate them and said it was a perfect amount.  But ya know, sometimes with things like this it seems like the spices can be all in one spot.  But hopefully the batch he took to work this morning for a snack was just as good.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOur cats, formerly known as Smokey and Esmeralda, have adjusted to their new names.  They are now Teagan and Nessa.  My hubby and I are convinced that Teagan actually likes her name as about the same time we decided to change it she became a little bit more affectionate.  I think that Nessa likes her new name too, now, but she was quick to warm up to it.  Who knows if cats actually care, but it SEEMS like they do.

When I taught yoga at The Dancing Cat earlier this month, I forgot to mention that they have adopted out eight one cats!  That is awesome.  I am not sure if that number has gone up, but I am hoping for them to hit at least 100 when they close in November.  Again, them closing in November is the last I heard, but perhaps that has changed.

Awhile back I posted about this sugar that I had purchased because it was the only kind in the store.  I had posted about it because I thought that maybe since it was less processed it actually “lasted” longer in the hummingbird feeders.  By “lasted” longer I meant it didn’t get grungy as fast.  Well, I have to take that back as I think it didn’t get grungy because the birds were eating it so fast.  We have had a very active hummingbird community this year.  It is really cool.  Over the many years that we have lived here we have probably had about 10 hummingbirds at a time come into the yard to feed.  But there is usually one very possessive bird that thinks he rules the yard and he spends most of his time chasing all the other birds off.  This year they all seem to chase each other around, but no one bird stands out as the boss.  And we have had more birds than ever.  It is really cool.  I filled five of our six feeders on Friday, today is Wednesday and I filled three again today.  I filled one yesterday.  So in about five days I had to refill our feeders.

Speaking of hummingbird feeders, I still maintain that our old hummingbird feeder, the one that is really difficult to clean, is still the favorite amongst the birds.  They will always empty that one first.  It always has the most birds around it.  I really think they can get to the nectar better because of the way it is designed.  I can’t get in and clean it better because the way it is designed, but I think they like it best.  The birds do eat off the other ones, but they don’t get emptied as fast as the old one.  The new ones, though, as so awesome to clean.  It literally takes less than five minutes each to soap ’em up, scrub ’em down, and rinse them out.  I love it.

We are planning on taking down at least three of the feeders this winter.  I will leave up the two large easy to clean ones and the small one that is super easy to clean.  The hummingbirds LOVE that one.  We take down the oriole feeder, the hard to clean feeder, and the hummingbird bar.  Any birds that are still around will still have enough to eat.  If as many birds that are around now, stay around, I will keep up all the feeders, but the numbers seem to dwindle in October.  We will see.


Well, that is all for the updates for now.  I have thought to do a post on some of these things, but then realized none of them really warrant an entire post on its own, so I am lumping it all together!

Posted in Birds, Cats, Misc, Teagan and Nessa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Easy To Clean, Perhaps Not So Easy To Drink From

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI have written about how my hubby and I feed the hummingbirds. I have written about their tongues. I have written about the sugar we use.  I have shared them being in our yard. In one of those posts I’ve had to have mentioned how difficult it is to clean the feeders. With the hummingbirds putting their tongues in the feeders there is a lot of stuff that grows in there. It pretty much looks like black slime. It is pretty gross. The way the feeders are constructed it is difficult to get in there and clean it out. We have several different brushes and we poke ’em through the little holes and clean the sludge out as best as we can. But it is time consuming – and gross. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made a feeder that comes apart easily so that it is easier to clean. Easier to make sure all the gunk is gone. Well, I found one. I was so excited. I think I had food made up on the day they were scheduled to arrive so once they got here I could just fill them and put them outside. Well, sadly, I am disappointed in them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI had found them on Perky Pet. But we had two that were still useable so I was going to wait until we needed one before I bought it. Well, it just happened within days of me finding it, I was washing the ones we had and I broke one. It fell in the sink and broke. Then I found the feeder sold through Amazon and it was Prime so it would get here faster and free. The new ones look the same as our old ones.  With slight differences.

When I got it I filled it and put it outside. The birds didn’t touch it. They used the other feeder. I even put the new one in the spot where the old one was – 1) I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t leak (so I put it over the dirt) 2) I thought that would encourage them to use it.

When I saw a bird at the new feed what I saw was the little hummingbird sitting on it and then having to REACH his neck up really tall in order to get his beak into the “bee guard” flower. The flowers on the new feeders have a little tube that are supposed to keep bees out. But our birds are so tiny they really have to reach to get at the right angle.

I thought I could use the OLD flowers in the new feeder, but of course not. They are not interchangeable. Since I thought the little tube was the problem, I cut them off all of the flowers. But still, the birds were not using it as much as the old feeder.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI am not sure what the issue is. I THINK that the nectar doesn’t flow freely from the bottle into the reservoirs. So what I do is go outside every once in awhile and jiggle the feeder. When I jiggle it, bubbles blurp in the bottle and then I can actually see the sugar water at the holes of the flowers. So I know they can get at it.

The past two nights the old feeder has been empty so we have seen increased activity by the new feeder, but they still don’t seem to be using it as much. Or they try and they can’t get at the water . . . I am not sure. I am not filling the feeders as much, but there seems to be the same amount of birds and activity in the yard. To me if the birds are there in full force the feeders should be empting faster.

We will see. It is REALLY nice to have the feeders come apart. When they are apart I can ensure that I get it clean. There are no nooks and crannies for the slime to hide in. I really like that part. I just want to make sure that the birds can drink out of them.

I am about to fill all three again . . . . we will see how it goes. Perhaps it was just a matter of the birds getting used to using the new one. They might have to use the new feeders differently because they are configured little differently inside.

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hummingbirds On A BEAUTIFUL Day

Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2016

Wow.  We are having the best weather here in the South Bay Area.  It is June and I have my windows open!  Usually it is too hot and we have everything shut up until it cools down.  At about 8:30 or 9:00 pm we open the house and try to let it cool down.  We keep the windows open for as long as we can hoping that will help keep it cool for the next day’s heat.  But we have not been having heat!  YAY!  So excited.  So loving it.  The other day when I got up, I was enjoying the hummingbirds around the feeders.  There was four to five of them.  When I got home from teaching Nia and yoga, I noticed the feeders were empty, so I texted my hubby asking him if he would make food that night.  He is the expert hummingbird food maker.  That is his job.  I made sure they were cleaned out so all he had to do was “cook” and fill the feeders.  And, today, I was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.  With the weather being so awesome, I had the doors open so I could hear their chittering.  I can also hear the buzz of their wings.  So awesome.  I love it.

I was watching them fly all around and I was able to take this video.  As I often say when I take pictures or videos – and it sounds lame, but hey, that is the way it is – I couldn’t see what I was shooting.  The sun was very bright and I was at an odd angle – half in, half out of the house.  I was trying not to disturb the birds.  I THOUGHT I was capturing two birds on the feeder.  I also was fascinated by the crazy one that is off in the distance.  See him?  He was flying around as if he were drunk.  It was so funny.  When I looked at the video I was so surprised to see FOUR on the feeder.  I mean, that happens, that is why I wanted to be sure to fill the feeders again right away.  But I didn’t even see them, when I was recording.  That portion of the feeder was out of sight.  Basically only my arms were sticking out of the house trying to capture the birds eating.

I could sit there all day and take pictures and make recordings, but . . . I do have other things to do.

I have not been able to get a good picture of an oriole yet.  They are very shy and fly away the moment I move towards the door or window.  I hope to have all summer long to try to get a good photo.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI love our hummingbirds – oh, except the on that was getting back at me for walking by him.  I was outside, there was a bird on the feeder.  I didn’t want to wait for him to finish so I squeezed by as close to our yard furniture as I could . . . giving him as wide of a berth as I could.  He flew off the feeder.  I turned around to and said, “Sorry about that.”  And he flew up and then flew straight at me!  Bugger!

They are so entertaining.

As a note . . . there is no added coloring to the water, it is that color because of the sugar.  You can read about that in my post Another Case Where Less Might Be More.

Do you have hummingbirds?  Do you have other birds? 

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »