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Cones of Protection: Hummingbirds nest safely near hawks

Posted by Douglas Everett on

https://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2015/sep/30/hummingbirds-nest-near-hawks-for-protection   https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/8/e1500310

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Hummingbird Tongues

Posted by Douglas Everett on

Hummingbirds have long, thin bills and tongues with channels, bristles, and papillae. Historically (or for over 184 years), scientists and biologists (Jardine & Martin 1833) believed that hummingbirds stretched their tongues to extract nectar from flowers or feeders through capillary action. The idea was that their tongues would fill with nectar in the same way a small glass tube fills passively with water. The physics of capillary action is based on two significant forces. Adhesion of the liquid molecules to the inner tube walls makes the liquid climb the sides. Surface tension holds the liquid together and drags the whole...

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Red dye in hummingbird nectar

Posted by Douglas Everett on

Never use red food coloring. A very comprehensive link about Red Food Coloring Most feeders have the color red incorporated into their manufacture. Most feeders made today have enough red in their design and manufacture that the red coloring in the nectar is not necessary to draw the birds in. Also, once the hummingbirds have found the feeder, and if the nectar is replaced regularly, they will keep coming back to the same location. Coloration enables them to first find the feeder. They do not depend on the coloration after initial visits to the same location. Red dye #40, named Allura Red...

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Bat cages

Posted by Douglas Everett on

I have thirteen feeders in my yard and in the summertime nights they get attacked by the endangered nectar eating bats. They are sloppy drinkers and their slurping always leaves nectar residue on the feeders and the floors that attracts ants and bees.  For the feeders near the house patio and pool area I made cages and positioned around the feeders to prevent the bats from draining.The cages are made from 4’ x 8’ ‘Remesh Sheet’ purchased from Home Depot. (I modified the design based upon the concept from the Hummingbird Monitoring Network.) I cut it, bend it, wire it all...

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Alexander Wilson's Account of Humming Bird

Posted by Douglas Everett on

I was reading my just received "Wilson Journal of Ornithology", published by the Wilson Ornithological Society. And I have been noticing that each issue for the last year had an article about Alexander Wilson. From 1803 to his death in 1813, Alexander Wilson traveled over 12,000 miles, visited all 15 states and territories of the United States, discovered 26 species of birds, wrote and illustrated 314 accounts of birds of eastern North America, sold 450 subscriptions, and edited and supervised publication of the nine volume American Ornithology. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Wilson's achievement of his nine volume American Ornithology the journal is...

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