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Author Topic: Hummingbirds & Hibiscus  (Read 13031 times)
farmer d
Farmer D

Posts: 3515


Hollywood, CA


« on: July 12, 2011, 05:17:00 PM »

I was not aware that hibiscus can be such an attractor of hummingbirds.  Within the last two weeks I have three different hummingbirds that are constantly competing/fighting over my front yard for the chance to feed on the blooms.

The three are easy to tell apart as one is black head green body, one is green head black body and the last is magenta head black body.  The black head seems to be the dominant one but the others are hilarious with their successful attempts at feeding while the black headed one watches from some near by liquid ambers.

Funny how they all feed underneath the blooms, much more efficient and easier for them than going into the center of the bloom.  As you can see they can then also land on leaves and somehow balance themselves for a quick rest while feeding.  Really fun to watch!!!

I'm sure I'll get some much better pics as time goes by...

All That Jazz on the radar








Interesting technique = hitting different spots on the same underside of the bloom for additional nectar


Now to the serious stuff - Vin Beaujolais (getting a sophisticated taste for nectar)




Farmer D
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farmer d
Farmer D

Posts: 3515


Hollywood, CA


« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 05:20:20 PM »

Round 2 - again cool how they can actual land on the edges of the leaves.  They must weigh close to nothing for a hibiscus leaf to support them without giving.

Chariots of Fire - lots of blooms here!!


Check it out- no wings mom!!!  Actually standing inside the leaf.






more to come I'm sure....

Farmer D
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Charlie
Administrator
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Posts: 3511



« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 07:32:45 AM »

Those are fantastic photos. I never noticed them standing on hibiscus leaves but you've got the evidence well documented! They love the hibiscus greenhouses, too, and will sometimes greet me by buzzing by my head at incredible speeds. None has miscalculated so far but I wouldn't want to get a direct hit even though they do seem to weigh mere ounces.

We rarely see the actual nectar of hibiscus but from time to time one will make so much that it leaks out when you handle the flower. It's sweet tasting clear fluid and is probably responsible for sticky leaves when no sap sucking insects are seen (which also drip sticky clear excretions onto leaves).

Thanks for showing these - they are amazing!

Charlie
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Cindy
Cindy Black, Webmaster, Customer Service
Administrator
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Posts: 234



« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 03:20:25 PM »

Gosh, Darren, those pics just cry out to be painted! If I ever have time to do any oil painting again, do you mind if I paint them?  They are just too, too special!
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Cindy
Southern California
farmer d
Farmer D

Posts: 3515


Hollywood, CA


« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 06:19:15 AM »

What a wonderful idea!!!

By all means, that would be very special.  I'll be on the look out for some better shots to add to your inspiration.

Farmer D
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Denise

Posts: 328


Bay Area, CA


« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 08:56:56 AM »

I love seeing hummingbirds drink from my hibiscus! I have also noticed that don't go for the center, but the bottom edges. They seem to go to spent blooms too. If you ever google "plants that attract hummingbirds," you rarely see hibiscus listed, so it was a surprise to me when I started owning hibiscus and they attracted hummingbirds.

Nice pictures!! It's a challenge to capture hummingbirds on camera because they are so fast and skittish! Good job Smiley
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Charlie
Administrator
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Posts: 3511



« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 05:43:17 AM »

We're going to do an article about nectar in one of the upcoming newsletters. It's an interesting topic and not much has been written about hibiscus and nectar. But, as anyone who has outdoor hibiscus knows, they are great attractors of hummingbirds.

Charlie
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Darkhorse

Posts: 950



« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 02:04:57 PM »

GOT ONE!!!  Hovering over Pinot Noir.  Smiley



* Hummingbird.jpg (143.82 KB, 640x400 - viewed 208 times.)
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"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."  -Edgar Allan Poe
Charlie
Administrator
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Posts: 3511



« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2011, 03:54:21 AM »

Good job, Jordan! It's not easy to capture those little speed demons.

Charlie
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farmer d
Farmer D

Posts: 3515


Hollywood, CA


« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 03:54:23 PM »

Great job Jordan!  Funny they must have a taste for wine, mine kept hovering around the Vin Beaujolais for it's moment of glory!

Farmer D
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Denise

Posts: 328


Bay Area, CA


« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 06:49:06 PM »

Nice shot Darkhorse!
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Darkhorse

Posts: 950



« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 12:07:13 PM »

Haha, thanks!  Yeah, a good Pinot Noir should have its place in all of our lives...
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"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."  -Edgar Allan Poe
farmer d
Farmer D

Posts: 3515


Hollywood, CA


« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 07:56:09 PM »

Funny thing today, as usual there is a dominant hummingbird that watches over my hibiscus and chases off all other potential feeders.  While tending to the hibs another one was so desperate that it took the chance even with me there and started feeding just 5 or 6 feet away from me.  I just stood still and watched it get over half my blooms before alpha hbird picked up on this and chased it off.

Of course my camera was in the house at the time but now I'm going to have near my at all times and already on the high speed shutter mode.  This could lead to some new shots soon I hope.

Oh yeah, Chariots of Fire really seems to produce a lot of nectar for it's blooms so I tried some yesterday.  Pretty good actually, I wonder if I'll get chased off now by the alpha hummingbird too?

Farmer D
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Charlie
Administrator
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Posts: 3511



« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2011, 05:41:31 AM »

In the greenhouse, the hummingbirds can get pretty territorial. I've had them buzz close past my head at what seems like 100 miles per hour. But, it's all posturing and none has ever come really close to actually crashing into me. No doubt they know that they will not fare well in such an encounter. Still, I try not to move quickly when one is buzzing close by so as no mistakes are made regarding flight path!

Charlie
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Maureenpm00

Posts: 53


Maureen Long Island NY


« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 01:05:18 PM »

What super pics.  I am a hummingbird lover.  Still haven't ever seen one in my garden even after planing hundreds of dollars worth of "hummingbird attracting" plants....after 3 or 4 yrs i gave up. Who knows maybe one day i will see one at my hibiscus.

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