News

Arthur Cleveland Bent

Posted by Douglas douglas@hummingbirdmarket.com on

Life Histories of North American Cuckoos, Goatsuckers, Hummingbirds One of our favorites of early published research is the 20 volume series by Arthur Cleveland Bent, The Life Histories of North American Birds.  Bent, whose series was first published in 1940 under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, was one of the country’s outstanding ornithologists and this encyclopedic collection of life histories quickly became one of the classic sources of comprehensive information about the birds of North America. Dover Publications describes this series as “a group of first-hand, concrete observations of specific flocks throughout the continent, describing in readable language and copious detail...

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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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