Due to some work constraints and the fact that my golf cart is out of commission for the moment – which means I have not been able to get out and about to visit with the wild birds on our property – I’ve not posted for far longer than normal. But, I have finally caught up and would like to share my more recent wild-bird related adventure.
The hummingbirds that visit my office patio feeders tend to prefer drinking from the Mini-feeders that hang on the door. But, it’s not just the location that seems to attract them. I have also hung the Mini-feeders in planters out on the small deck, and they visit those far more frequently than the larger feeders – that hang in the same location. The little birds are even willing to wait in line to feed from the small vessels, rather than visit another feeder that is just five feet away! Often, I hear the vocalize when they are congregating at a feeder – waiting for their turn. Nearly as often, there is some sort of squabble between birds at those times.
Here are a few photos of one Ruby-throated Hummingbird taking advantage of a Mini-feeder that is hanging in a potted Rosemary plant on the deck.
Below is a quick video I shot directly after we hung and filled our new carousel. It shows how the birds are highly attracted to the Mini-feeders we have on the door, so much so that they often wait in line to get a drink. But, it was exciting to see that they began to check out the carousel immediately, which reduced the need to “stand in line” for dinner.
I’m not exactly certain what attracts the hummers to the Mini-feeders that require replenishment every day (versus those that will provide nectar for a few days.) However, when I thought about it, I recognized a significant benefit. Because they only hold 2.3 oz of liquid), we need to fill the Mini-feeders with fresh nectar every day – sometimes twice a day. That means the little hummers are getting the freshest food we can provide.
I don’t mind filling the feeders every day – but multiple times a day (which has been required recently) becomes not only more work for us but can mean that the feeders run out of nectar before we can get to the task. To solve the problem, my plan was to create a nectar feeding carousel from which several of the smaller feeders hang. I did a little shopping around and decided on the following plan and materials:
The Gray-bunny brand Mini-feeders can be purchased at Amazon in boxes of four. So, I acquired two boxes for a total of eight feeders. A box of four cost $10.59. That’s $2.65 each. I used all eight, for a total of $21.18. That was the most expensive part of the project.
The remaining pieces of this “carousel” can be created out of materials you may have hanging around.
For my primary structure, I used a 14 inch wire wreath frame. Because the only craft hoops that I had laying around were only 6 to 8 inches in diameter, I purchased a package of two wreath frames for $7.99. So, the total cost of the frame was $4.00
Any sort of wire or even strong string could be used to hand the feeders at various lengths from the wreath, but I chose to purchase colorful metal chains to act as the three prong-hanger above the wire frame, and also to hook on the feeders. The product I acquired had 100 individual pieces that were 4.7″ long each. I used 32 total chains which ended up costing $2.88 for my project.
The chains, which were attached to the individual Mini-feeders, were attached to the wire frame with hooks. I attached the hooks to the frame with the red, plastic coated wires that came with the feeders. The hooks came in a box of 40. I used eight, for a total cost of $1.60.
I wasn’t certain how long of a chain we’d need to hang the carousel out on my office patio. If we chose to secure it from the ceiling of the porch overhang (which is 12 foot high), I would have required something of length to accomplish that. Again, that could have been done with some string or wire we had hanging around. But, I decided to purchase red, plastic chain links. I ended up only using two links to secure the top chains together, as we decided to hang the carousel on a wire we have already installed on which some decorative lighting is hung. It puts the carousel at a height I find easy to fill.
While I didn’t use much of this red plastic chain, I can envision using it for other projects – especially related to hummingbirds, as they are highly attracted to the color red. But, also we have an Umbrella Cockatoo and a Blue-fronted Amazon parrot, both of which would enjoy this chain as a toy. So, I suspect it will find a useful purpose, even though it ended up under utilized in the hummingbird carousel project.
With the purchase of the Mini-feeders and the materials that I chose to purchase – but could have been scavenged from things already had (wire and string) – it cost just under $30 and was very easy to assemble.
Here are a few videos that I took just moments after we hung and filled it. If you have never heard the sounds that hummingbirds make, turn up the volume. The high pitches little squeals are these little gems communicating with each other.
The hummingbirds are very active feeding at new carousel and it requires a refill once per day, now rather than twice or more. I’m pleased that there is less “waiting in line” at the “preferred” Mini-feeders, too. The carousel hangs at my eye level directly out my office doors, so I get to watch the little birds coming all day long for their nectar! Robert is in the depths of replacing the motor on my golf-cart and I can’t wait to get out and about to see all that has transpired on the property.