From turkeys to hummers

It’s hard to know where to start, except to say: Thank you.
Pictures and comments have come in over the past couple of weeks from various directions, and particularly during the past day or so on the subject of hummingbirds.
But let’s go from large to small.
John Boland sent me a note earlier this month about the wild turkeys he saw — about four hens and about 10 poults — crossing the road in front of him at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Park Rapids, Minn. They were headed to the fields in the Antique Tractor Club grounds, John writes, and when he came back 10 minutes later with a camera they had settled into a grain field.
A couple of the photos didn’t translate well into this blog’s format. But check out this magnificent hen:

Let’s stay big, with Bernie St. George’s picture of a bald eagle on Lake Beauregard in Wisconsin:

Bernie says this loon came within 10 feet of his pontoon:

Bernie also offers an immature grosbeak:

Now we’re getting pretty small, so let’s take a look at Lyle Anderson’s pictures of a wren family on Park Point:

The photos were taken on Aug. 17. By evening, the wrens had left. “The backyard seems a little emptier without them,” Lyle writes.

OK, back to hummingbirds. Happily, several people have reported that they’ve seen plenty of hummers this summer. Among them is Rick Jarvi of Brule, Wis., who had six stay for the summer and is getting a lot more passing through now.
Check this out:

Rick has been feeding hummers for 20 years and has seen more this year than in the past, he writes.

Likewise, David and Helen Abramson, who live in Meadowlands and are part of the group that sponsors the annual Sax-Zim Bog Winter Birding Festival, have seen plenty of hummers.
“For years I’ve kept track of how many cups of syrup I put out in a week,” Helen writes. “Some years it’s been up to 50 cups in a week. The past two years haven’t been that busy — 30 and 32 a week. However, this year has been the highest so far — early this month it was 72 cups one week, 71 the next week. There is activity at the feeders all day, but toward evening it’s like a swarm of bees. I’ve only been able to count 15 at one time.”
At one point an immature female landed on her wrist, Helen adds.
Here’s her picture of a couple of the Meadowlands hummers:

The hummers are also feeding off an oriole feeder, Helen writes. They put Scotch tape over the top of the ports to keep the bugs out.

Thanks, everyone. Let’s keep the conversation going.

Your bird photos and stories greeted enthusiastically at: jlundy@duluthnews.com.

3 thoughts on “From turkeys to hummers

  1. I can’t figure out how other people can get more than one hummer to feed at their feeders at the same time. I will hang two feeders out at one time, in different areas in my yard, and one hummer controls both feeders. He (or she) won’t let any other hummers feed. All I hear is a bunch of “chittering” and then they chase each other away. Any tips on how I can get more hummers to feed together? We don’t feed any other birds, because our area has a bear problem this summer, but so far, he hasn’t bothered any of our humming bird feeders.

    • I think my first try at commenting went to spam as it didn’t even show the little notice about being moderated. Maybe because I posted a link?

      What I had said is some have done studies showing that clustering multiple feeders together is better. Even though one will try to guard them all, it can only chase one bird away at a time, others can still feed. We are doing this now as opposed to last year when we had three feeders on three sides of the house. One would zip around like mad, or hover over the top of the house to watch them all. It was crazy.

      We seem to have about three hummingbirds right now. We’ve never had more than that at a time, it probably is our area or habitat. Those people with many hummingbirds do not see the territorial issues a lot, from what I have read.

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