Costa's hummingbirds are our main species here in Sycamore Canyon and they will be establishing territories in preparation for their January through June breeding and nesting. Anna's Hummingbirds are also possible. Due to this increased activity I have been trying to learn to identify the different female species of hummingbirds, which can be quite a challenge. In this vein I have taken out some Hummingbird guides from the library in an attempt to be more accurate in my ID's. I am reading and studying Stokes Beginner's Guide to Hummingbirds and Hummingbirds of North America by Steve N. G. Howell.
Hummingbird Nectar: To make your own hummingbird nectar combine 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of filtered or bottled water and bring to a boil. Cool and fill nectar feeders. Do not add food color or use honey or artificial sweeteners to make the nectar as honey will mold and artificial sweeteners offer no energy or nutrition to these high energy birds. Remember to change the feeders every 3 days in warm to hot weather to prevent mold or spoilage. Clean feeders with hot water and white vinegar and rinse well. Do not use soap. If you are having a hard time attracting hummers to your feeders initially you can make a stronger solution by mixing 1 cup sugar with 3 cups of water until the birds find it. Refrigerate any unused solution.
Male Costa's Hummingbird reflecting purple light from its gorget.
Where in the World is Kathiesbirds? I've been trying to find balance in my life as I struggle to spend time with my husband, blog, clean house, get exercise, go birding and make prickly pear jelly. Posts on all these subjects are soon to follow but I have missed out on visiting my fellow bloggers and want to devote some time to catching up with other blogs. I have not posted Kathie's Poet Tree in a few weeks due to the lack of time, which I know many others of you can identify with. I'm still playing catch-up from this summer's vacation as new and exciting things continue to happen around here. The remnants of Tropical Storm Julio have drenched the area and I listened to the persistent sound of rain during the night. This morning the temperature was 67 degrees Fahrenheit when I awoke at 6:30 a.m. and I threw wide the windows to let the rain-washed freshness into the house. Though the rain has stopped for the moment it is expected to start up again this afternoon. Out my windows I can see the storm clouds boiling up over the Catalinas, the Rincons and the Santa Ritas Mountains and filling the valley below.
Storm Clouds boil over Mt. Wrightston in the Santa Ritas
Today's Photography is by Gus and Kathie. We were passing the camera back and forth when the hummers were here and I honestly can't remember who took which photos. The photo of the Santa Ritas is by Kathie. All photos taken with the Nikon D80 and the 70 to 300 mm lens.