[Mnbird] Nectar Nazis in Freeborn County

Al Batt snoeowl at aol.com
Wed Sep 11 19:30:21 CDT 2019

  The yard’s jelly feeders continue to feed an ample supply of hungry orioles. I appreciate the orioles’ ephemeral company. Traveling birds include a goodly number of warblers. Fly-catching yellowstarts (American redstarts) are ubiquitous. An ovenbird peered into my office window, encouraging me to take the camera for a walk. 
  As happens each year at this time, our yard becomes a temporary home to Nectar Nazis declaring ownership of every drop of sugar water. Hummingbirds are aggressive and unwilling to share flowers when blossoms are scarce and produce minimal amounts of nectar. This possessive behavior is so deeply ingrained it carries over to feeders. I can almost hear a hummingbird declare this about nectar feeders, "They're magically delicious!" as if they contained Lucky Charms Cereal. The Lucky Charms Leprechaun said, "They're always after me Lucky Charms." The hummingbird knows that the other hummingbirds are always after its nectar. There are no pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars or green clovers in sugar water, but I feed more hummingbirds by employing several small feeders rather than one large one. Spacing the feeders widely makes them less likely to arouse the birds' territorial instincts.

Al Batt

“If you judge people, you don't have time to love them.”--Mother Teresa
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