Can you imagine working for a bird feeder company and not trying out the feeders? Business Development Manager Jim Robison admits it took some time before he gave it a shot, but it only took a few hummingbirds to get him hooked. Read about how Jim finally got his start in wild bird feeding.
Hummingbird Advice from a Neighbor
Being in sales within the lawn & garden industry for almost 20 years now, I have had the benefit of readily available bird feeder samples to try out. Now, just having access to “free” samples should have been enough impetus to get me feeding birds. But, if it wasn’t for our elderly neighbor Elda Harris, I probably would have never jumped in.
A few months after we had moved to our home in the country, we visited our new neighbor Elda. She told me that since I work for a company that makes hummingbird feeders, I had better get my feeders ready to go—and make darn sure they’re out by March 7th.
See also: Hummingbird Migration Patterns Explained
Now, I don’t know the rationale for the date, other than migrating populations of Rufous hummingbirds do arrive in February and March in Oregon, but she was adamant on the specific date. I didn’t want to disappoint my neighbor, so I put two brand new hummingbird feeders out on March 6th just to be safe. I certainly did not want to miss the deadline.
To my surprise and astonishment, I had a couple of different hummingbirds eating from the feeders by March 8th. Now, I’m almost positive they came from Elda’s house. Regardless, I was now hooked on feeding birds. Using Elda’s nectar recipe (which I found out later is the standard recipe for making your own nectar), I attracted a large number of hummingbirds.
I became interested in trying to identify the actual species, and picking out the males from the female, which is remarkably easy to do with hummingbirds. It was also enjoyable to see how territorial those little birds are, and to spot the “dominant” male among the bunch.
See also: Where to Hang Your Hummingbird Feeders
It soon became necessary to expand the number of nectar feeders, and to add even larger capacity feeders. The population of hummingbirds would devour 30 to 40 ounces of nectar every 3 or 4 days. The larger capacity saved me from making nectar every day.
Feeding Songbirds – Not Squirrels
I started feeding the songbirds as the seasons changed and I certainly liked seeing all the birds around. Feeding songbirds gave me a whole different appreciation for the wild bird population. I enjoyed trying to identify the birds by sight and by song. I could soon identify a few birds by their song or whistle without even seeing them. To my kids, it was a definite sign I was getting old.
Now that I have grandchildren, its fun to share the hobby with them and see their enjoyment when a hummingbird or a chickadee visits one of the many feeders I have out. Now if I could just keep those pesky squirrels away… Oh wait, I can—since the company I work for makes squirrel-proof bird feeders! “Feed birds, NOT Squirrels!”