Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

Hanging a hummingbird nectar feeder or two around your yard is a nice way to ensure the little hummers always have something to eat when flowers may not be in full bloom. Here’s an easy homemade hummingbird nectar recipe.


From the annual plant, to the blooming tree, plants of all variations in your flowerbeds or containers not only add to the beauty of your yard or patio, but with a little planning can provide food and shelter for several different critter species (think hummingbirds, butterflies, bees (pollinators), toads, not to mention insects like praying mantis). Perennials are good for future years since they come back year after year. Annuals are only good for one growing season, but add beauty and function too.

While hummers are attracted to the color red, your garden need not be all red flowers. There are plenty of flowers which bloom in other colors that will feed your visitors. With a little planning, you will be able to have blooming flowers for your hummingbirds most of the season.

Perennial Flowers for Hummingbirds

Bee Balm

Bee Balm, (Monarda) a member of the mint family and considered an herbaceous perennial, grows about 2-4 feet tall in full sun. It is indigenous to Eastern North America. Bee Balm produces tubular flowers which bloom in mid to late summer. Hardiness zones 4-9. Blooms are red or light purple color.

Bee Balm has culinary and medicinal uses, as well as attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Dead-head bee-balm flowers to force another bloom.

Blue Lobelia, (Lobelia siphilitica), grows 30″-36″ and blooms a spikey deep blue  during  August-September.

Canna, sometimes known as the Canna lily, though not of the lily family, have large attractive foliage.  The flowers are typically red, orange, or yellow or any combination of those colours and are small, hidden under extravagant stamens. These flowers were meant to attract pollenators like bees, hummingbirds and even bats.

Cardinal Flower – hybrids grow up to 4 feet tall, while the wild counterparts grow to 2 feet.  Hummingbirds love the intense scarlet flowers.  Blooms July through September.  Requires moist (not saturated) and never dry soil in partial shade to sun.

Columbine

Red Columbine, (Aquilegia), makes a useful plant for hummingbirds. It blooms early in the year, just in time for the hummingbirds migrating north. Plant in sun or light shade, zones 2-8. The tiny birds will hover in place under the plant and lap the nectar from underneath the bloom. Columbine also comes in purple, blue, yellow, white,peach and pink. Super easy to grow by seed.

Cigar Flower

coral bells

Coral Bells, (huechera), zone hardiness 3-8. They do well in partial shade, particularly in hot climates. Rather smallish pretty little pink flowers on long stems form a sort of haziness over large leaves.  There are several native varieties (around 35).. some more showy than others.  I believe mine (shown in picture) is a Purple Palace.  This is another plant where dead-heading may produce another bloom.

Foxglove – a biennial, see Annuals and Biennials for Hummingbirds

hosta

Hosta is a shade loving plant.  Leaf colors vary from shades of blue to green to yellow and some variegated in white/cream.  The stalks, or scapes can be more than 30 inches and produce pendulous-like flowers blooming white, lavender, or violet in color and usually scentless.  Not only do hostas attract hummingbirds, but also deer, slugs and snails.  I have a few planted and while the snails and slugs do their share of snacking, the hostas always bloom.  Separate when they start coming up and it’s easy work.  The number of genus isdebated, there could be up to 45 different types.

Hummingbird Mint blooms summer through late fall.  It has fragrant foliage and flowers; attracts hummingbirds.  Different varieties have differing zone hardiness, so check for your area.  Full sun to part shade.  Grows 1-4 feet with the same in spread. Flowers are orange/ salmon and pink flower.

Lantana grows 3 to 4 feet tall; full sun to part shade.  Blooms pink, purple, red, yellow and orange.  Depending on the plant can bloom from late winter all the way through late fall- check each variety. Perennial in the southern states, grow as an annual in others.

Lupine hardiness zones 3-9, grows 1 to 3 feet tall.  Takes full sun.  They produce spikes of pea-like flowers and blooms yellow, white, red, blue and pink during the summer months.

Yucca the plant produces 8-foot spikes of nodding, bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers, sometimes tinged purple, to 2 inches long.  Grows 6-10 feet tall with a spread of up to 6 feet.  Drought tolerant, requires full sun; blooms early to late summer.

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Hummingbird Facts and Information

 

Hummingbird Facts and Information

Hummingbirds are fun birds to watch. Attracting them to your yard can be enjoyable and relaxing. Here’s some information on our little backyard friends.


Hummingbirds are like little trick flyers.. not only do they hover in mid-air, they can also fly backwards, sideways and yes, even upside-down. This is thanks the ability to rotate their wings in a full circle. Their little wings beating about 60-80 times per second and up to 200 times per second when taking a courtship dive. They are pretty quick too with an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour. Clock them in a dive … they are able to reach 60 miles per hour!

They get their name from the humming sound their wings make when flying. When sitting near a feeder or flowers, you’ll near the little hum when they come visiting. Other names they are known by in other parts of the world are flying jewels, flower nibbler, flower kisser, flower sucker, and my favorite, the hummer. They aren’t great singers, but rather make a little chirping sound. They vocalize when they get excited or to attract a mate.


Photo by Travelin’ John

Hummingbirds are found only in North and South America. They are found as far north as southeastern Alaska and as far south as southern Chile. The largest variety of hummingbirds is found in South America with more than half the hummingbird species located there. With more than 300 types or species of hummingbirds, Ecuador in northwestern South America has the largest number at a 163. Over fifty hummingbird species breed in Mexico regularly. More than fifteen species breed in the United States with the ruby-throated being the only one to breed east of the Mississippi River.

Hummingbird species found in the United States:
– Allen’s Selasphorus sasin
– Anna’s Calypte anna
– berylline Amazilia beryllina
– black-chinned Archilochus alexandri
– blue-throated Lampornis clemenciae
– broad-billed Cynanthus latirostris
– broad-tailed Selasphorus platycercus
– buff-bellied Amazilia yucatenensis
– calliope Stellula calliope
– Costa’s Calypte costae
– lucifer Calothorax lucifer
– magnificant (Rivoli) Eugenes fulgens
– ruby-throated Archilochus colubris
– rufous Selasphorus rufus
– violet-crowned Amazilia violiceps
– white-eared Hylocharis leucotis

They do not mate for life and the female tends to the nest building and baby bird care. The babies weight about that of a penny. Their life-span is relatively short. Most hummingbirds will die during their first year. But on average live 3-5 years. There have been documented banded hummers having lived twelve-plus years, over 6 years for a ruby throated and a rufous hummingbird having lived over eight years.

For concerned hummingbird nest watchers, here’s a good article on how the mother takes care of her young and how we don’t need to intervene. I’d write a better synopsis here, but really, just go read how to “Rescue” baby hummingbirds (or not to rescue).

Hummingbirds are said to be very territorial however, it isn’t uncommon to see a couple or even several hummers at a feeder at one time.

While a hummingbird has no sense of smell, it makes up for that missing sense by having better hearing than humans as well as being able to see farther. They are even able to see ultraviolet light. It’s brain is about 4.2% of it’s body weight, the largest percentage of all birds. Their heart makes up 2.5% of their body weight. While at rest their little heart goes around 250 beats per minute but can go up to 1250 a minute.


Hummingbirds have a metabolism about 100 times that of an elephant – the highest of any animal on earth. They need to eat often and eat half up to three times their body weight a day. They eat up to eight times every hour for up to a minute or so at a time. So much eating, they sure make their rounds too… They’ll visit an average of 1,000 flowers each day to get the nectar they need for fuel to catch the small bugs they use for protein.

They are smart little birds (the tiniest in the world!) able to remember every flower they visit and even how long it takes for a flowers nectar to refill.

They lap the nectar up with their “W” shaped tongue (rather than sucking it like a straw) which has little hairs on the tip to help catch it. It’s not just their wings and heart that move fast, their little tongues lap up nectar at a rate of about 13 licks per second.. wow!

And lucky for us (and for hummers) they don’t get “addicted” to nectar from feeders. If your feeder is dirty and you don’t put it up for a few days, your little visitors won’t starve – though they will remember your inconsistency. And they won’t stick around when it’s time to make their leave back home (if they migrated), just for nectar. Of course, the more consistent you are with feeding them, the more regularly they’ll visit and the more visitors you’ll have. So keep your feeders clean with fresh nectar, but don’t worry with it’s time for them to go home.

Hummers can be added to the list of pollinators, as they make easy work of pollinating flowers when their foreheads and little faces rub each flower while they get the nectar.

When hummingbirds sleep, their bodies conserve energy naturally by going into a state of mental and motor inactivity, similar to hibernation, known as torpor. This can conserve up to 60% of a hummers natural energy. Their heart rate can drop to as little as 50 beats per minute and temperature as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Understandably, torpor can be fatal for a weak hummingbird. Under normal circumstances, they can appear dead, even being found hanging upside-down… it can take a hummingbird up to an hour to recover from torpor fully,but usually only takes a few minutes to raise their metabolism and temperature back to normal.

When planting flowers in your yard, or patio plants, be sure to plant a few (or several) to attract the hummingbirds. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t *only* attracted to red flowers, though that is probably their favorite color. There are many sizes, shapes and colors which attract hummingbirds. Choose your flowers wisely and you’ll have blooming flowers to attract the hummingbirds all season long with your own little hummingbird paradise.

In your bird watching, if you find a banded hummer, report the band number to this number: 1-800-327-BAND.

If you have more information about these fun little birds, a story of you own or pictures you’d like to share, feel free to comment or send me a message.

9 Things You can Do for Earth Day

Earth Day April 22, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day – But remember… everyday is a good day to do something for our Earth, so if you can’t do everything you want on Earth Day, that’s ok.. here’s a list of things to do, on Earth Day or any other day.

Greenhouse - 12' x 8' x 24'

1. Lowe’s Home Improvement offers a 10% off coupon good on purchases up to $5000.

This would be a good coupon to use for plants for your yard. This year, we purchases two fruit trees (a super sweet peach and a super sweet plum). I still want to get a pear, but will likely add that next year. We also got a couple of raspberry bushes. No need to get too many of those, as they send up shoots all over the place (yes, they can be invasive!).

I also purchases gravel, lumber and stepping stones for my greenhouse (well, the gravel came from the sand & gravel company). I’ll make use of another coupon for stones for our patio.

Last year, we added walls to our back porch, turning it into a very useable indoor space. This summer, we bought sliding glass doors – one for each side of the new “diningroom”… this will bring in lots of light! Not to mention a nice indoor place to keep our houseplants through the cold months. We’ve made good use of Lowe’s this year!

2. Buy in Bulk. When purchasing mulch, gravel or other yard necessities, call your local Sand & Gravel company. If you have access to a truck, you will save a TON of money by picking up the materials yourself.


I picked up 1.5 tons of pea gravel for my greenhouse. It cost me $26 to pick it up myself. If I’d had them deliver 2 tons, it would have cost $115 – that’s a huge difference. But even having it delivered it would have been cheaper than buying by the bag.

I saw a neighbor with 4 skids full of bags of mulch (no kidding!)… Even at $3 a bag, she spent a small fortune. Way more than if she’d ordered in bulk and had it delivered.

We created a new driveway using chips and dust.. it’s a packing type of stone.. We started out needed about 18 tons.. so the initial cost was not too cheap (but much cheaper than blacktop or cement). Every couple of years, we order about 4-5 tons (delivered) and spend a few hours spreading it to the thin spots (and then a couple hours soaking in the hot tub! But it creates a nice new drive. Couldn’t have done it so cheaply had we not purchased in bulk.

Also, keep in mind when you buy mulch, a yard (bulk) of mulch is much different than a cubic foot. A conversation with an older woman years ago always sticks with me. I told her we used 3 yards of mulch for our yard. She said, well, we used 32 yards! I thought to myself 32 yards of mulch would have covered her whole yard! Not just her flower beds. She had to have bought bags and not noticed it was measured in cubic feet (usually something like 3 cubic feet in a bag). I wonder every spring if she ever realized the difference.

A yard of mulch would be equal to 27 cubic feet (3 x 3 x 3 = 27). 32 yards of mulch would be over 860 cubic feet. That’s a lot of mulch for a standard size yard.

Praying Mantis

3. Add insects to your yard. I’ve posted before about our fun with Praying Mantis egg cases – try it! The Praying Mantis are great for your yard. Very good “friends” to have around. They munch on lots of pesky bugs – like mosquitoes (I hate mosquitoes! and they just *love* me). Get some lady beetles (aka lady bugs). They usually come in a mesh bag and you just sprinkle them around your yard.

Get a Butterfly Pavilion and hatch a group of butterflies from caterpillars. Or purchase a Spiderweb Frame for the garden – while many might be icked out by spiders, they are, like Praying Mantis, eaters of the other nuisance pests.

4. Plant native to your area plants… whether it’s trees, shrubs or wild flowers… the native animals and birds will enjoy it.

5. Plant your own veggies. It might be hard to live off our home grown vegetables in this day and age, but every bit you grow is less you need to purchase. Not to mention, eating your own hard work is satisfying. Kids can easily help in the garden by planting, hoeing, watering and harvesting. Then, teach them to eat raw, or how to toss a salad or how to cook their home grown veggies. It’s healthy eating at it’s best!

6. Start a compost pile with old leaves and yard waste – like grass clippings and soft plant material.. don’t use the sticks and branches.. you don’t need those. Create an enclosure with a few wooden skids (think recycling) and zip-tie them together and stake it into the ground so it’s sturdy. Just three skids making an upside U shape would be a good start. If you have a large yard, try five but using two in the back, one other either end and one on one side in the front so you have one opening to move your stuff in and out.

It’s best not to put your compost pile near trees (so the roots don’t send a shoot up into that great compost material) but you also want some shade as the compost tends to get hot..


7. Create Animal Friendly Habitats by providing plenty of living supplies or areas – like for nesting birds, in the spring, fill your suet feeder with bits of yarn, raveled rope or burlap, pieces of hair or soft materials, even paint brush bristles. Make sure to clean out the nest boxes from their last use. And keep water in the bird baths. Birds need the water during the summer months more than they need us to feed them (feeding them through the winter is most helpful!). Birds like to play in the water mist too, so creating a water dripper or installing a water mist makes watching the birds fun.

You can even get Backyard Habitat Certified – a great project for homeschooling kids too.

Dads Pond

8. Create a pond which is wildlife friendly. Ponds can be made from pre-formed liners, or you dig your own design and lay pond liner – this is what I would like to do… to create a “zero-entry” area so small birds can play in a shallow area. Ponds grow plants, sustain goldfish and/or koi and also provide a habitat for frogs which you might not otherwise have in your backyard. It’s fun to see frogs, tadpoles and fry all swimming around the bigger fish. My dad has a wonderful garden we even enjoy visiting in the cold Ohio winter – he covers it with a small greenhouse during the cold month and it usually stays warm and humid. But the water doesn’t freeze and some plants even stay happily growing, oblivious to the harsh reality outside the thin walls.

9. Clean your Hummingbird Feeders It’s that time of year that the hummers (at least here in Ohio) will start seeing hummingbirds visiting as they migrate to our Northern area. So make sure to have fresh nectar available for them… they’ll need it. Here’s my simple Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe – two ingredients you always have on hand.. so simple!

Summers Coming – Hummingbird Time
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
Toad Abode and Bath
Recycling Nature Landscaping
Bird Bath Water Dripper – Home made

Hummingbird Time – Summers Coming

If I can’t tell Spring is in the air by the weather ~ this week happens to be a typical spring day in Ohio.. rainy, chilly (April Showers bring May flowers) ~ I can certainly tell by the stats to my pages on Momma Muse.


Every spring, towards the end of March through September, I have a couple of pages which never fail to bring lots of visitors.

One of my top pages throughout these months is Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe. There is also the recipes for feeding and attracting Orioles and Butterflies.

Make sure to see the baby hummingbird in a nest – it’s amazing how tiny they are!

Fun Spring Activity to do with the kids (or just yourself).

Last year, we purchased a few praying mantis egg cases. We’ve done this in the past, but this year instead of putting them right out into the yard, we decided to hatch them in an aquarium. Very simple to do, you’ll need an aquarium or other enclosure (maybe a mesh one, similar to a butterfly house). Our aquarium has a screen lid. We put a few branches inside and attached the egg cases to the branches, either just sliding them onto one or bracing it gently.

We kept watch over it until it finally had several hundred (yes, hundreds!) of tiny mantis babies… at which time we set the aquarium in the grass on it’s side, and took the lid mostly off. Enough so the young praying mantis could easily escape, but not so much a bird would be interested too quickly in jumping in for a snack.


Periodically through the summer we’d see a mantis here or there… but towards the end of summer we did see a couple of nicely sized ones.

Praying Mantis are good for your garden and flowers. They like to eat the icky buggies who like chomping on your pretty flowers. They also eat mosquitoes… and goodness knows we’ve had our fair share of them around here. Last year wasn’t so bad… wonder if I should get some more egg cases…

Places to get Praying Mantis Egg Cases:
Insect Lore – here, you can get just one case, along with many other types of insects. Great place to get stuff for homeschooling, or just to supplement those young, sponge-like minds!

We just received caterpillars from them for our Butterfly house. They are growing so big! I also want to get one of the Spiderweb frames for the garden.

Planet Natural is where I ordered Praying Mantis egg cases from last year.

Note to add: Gardening Zone has great prices on Mantis Egg Cases ~ But be sure to check shipping costs before you submit your order.

Praying Mantis and Egg Casings

Praying Mantis


Early this year, I purchased a few praying mantis egg cases (3, I think). We put them in an aquarium with a screen lid and let them “hatch”. Each egg casing has between 50 and 200 praying mantis babies. They don’t tear out of the case, but instead, they come through it. The egg casing isn’t like a butterfly cocoon. The female mantis creates an egg-filled foam (or froth) which then hardens. The babies climb through this, as it’s not hollow.

Once we had several babies in our aquarium, we set it in the yard and opened it, so they could get out on their own. The babies are ravenous and will begin to eat each other if there isn’t enough food for them. The cases, because you can’t always tell if the babies have come out or not, we put them in the bushes, in a safe spot (so birds won’t eat ’em up)… this way, if all the babies haven’t come out, they have a place to do it safely.

So, the other day we were finishing up putting the temporary walls around our back porch (yay! More room for the winter, I’m loving it!) and Bob sees this 6 inch praying mantis. The mantis didn’t want to get on my hand, but I coaxed him up onto a branch and then he got onto my hand. My camera wouldn’t get a really good detailed close-up, try as I might.. but I did get a few pics that weren’t too bad.

Praying mantis are so cool. This one would watch us, her little black pupils would follow our movements. She’d cock her head as we moved the camera around, or ourselves. After about 10 minutes of playing with us, she flew off to a bush.

Praying mantis are good for your yard.. they like to eat insects that are pests. I specifically got them for the mosquitoes around our yard. See more of the mantis pictures.

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day is officially April 22, 2008. While celebrating our planet on this day is a nice idea, it’s even nicer to implement earth-friendly ideas throughout the year, every day if possible. With spring and summer right around the corner, it’s easy to do things to help you, your family and the environment. Here are some good earth day activities and ideas.

Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat in your yard by providing food sources (such as plants, seeds, nuts, nectar), water sources (pond, stream, bird bath), covered areas (rock pile, bird house, thickets), places to raise young (pond, thick shrubbery, nesting boxes), sustainable gardening (mulch, compost, chemical free fertilizer). Once you’ve done this, you may register your habitat for certification. Visit the National Wildlife Federation for this and more to do, not just on Earth Day, but every day.


My favorite garden shoes (ok, I’ll admit it, they are my favorite summertime shoes.. I wear them all the time) are my sloggers. I bought my last two pair from Target for about $10. My daughter recently bought some similar shoes (what are they called, that have the holes in them that everyone wears?).. well, from another site (and I’ll give them credit if I come across it again – Found it – Hip Mama’s Place is where I first saw them) I found out about Polliwalks – talk about some adorable summer / garden shoes for kids!

Container gardening is an easy way to build a garden in confined areas. Try planting specific garden pots, such as a “salsa garden pot” using a pepper plant, a tomato plant and a few herbs like cilantro, basil or oregano.

Use the USDA Hardiness Zone Finder to make sure the plants you plant in your flower beds will withstand the weather in your area. Or just visit their site – National Garden Association for SO much info.

Set up a worm compost to get some of the best and natural fertilizer there is available and let those little red wigglers gobble up your kitchen waste. Setting up a worm compost is easy and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You can make a wooden box, or even use a plastic bin (like a Rubbermaid container).. the key is to provide moisture, bedding and your compost shouldn’t smell foul. One of my long time favorite sites for worm information is WormLady.com. She has great, simple information on worms red wigglers in particular, sells them and also has some links to further information.

If you aren’t able to plant your own garden, your area may have a food co-op or other program. These programs allow you to purchase local in-season veggies all spring, summer and into the fall. This helps the environment too as well as supporting local farmers! To minimize getting to burned out on the same veggies every week, go in on it with a friend.

Get active – meet up with your community and clean up the neighborhood. Whether it’s just picking up trash or planting flowers and mulching the local part, it all helps and this activity brings the community together.

Save energy by joining Project Switch – switch out your costly, ineffective incandescent bulbs to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Join the World Wildlife Organization for their countdown to this 2008 Earth Day – but really, Earth Day is every day – so no matter which year it is, every little bit helps. Make A Change.

If you eat meat, go free range – the meat is healthier because the animal is healthier and usually treated more humanely. Recent studies have shown free range animals contain Omega-3 (a fatty acid essential to human health), whereas contained/caged animals do not. Hmmm…

Now, for some fun activities and information, visit Earth Day at Kaboose – some terrific crafts – like coffee grounds fossils, lady bug rocks and tin can herb containers. Plan an Earth Day Dinner – Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus and for dessert have some Mudpie Cookies.

Above all, make your earth celebrations activities you and your family enjoy. Happy Earth Day!

Praying Mantis on a Hummingbird Feeder

Originally uploaded by madaise.

I was washing dishes and saw this little praying mantis on one of the hummingbird feeders. Try as I might, I could not get a good clear image of the mantid.

At one point, Cas thought he was sleeping – but I told her I thought it was watching us… just about then, it turned it’s head from facing one of us, to the other. As if he was listening to us talk.


I didn’t think much of it visiting the hummingbird feeder, other than it may help keep the little buggies and bees from getting into the nectar. Then I happened across this post about a mantis making a meal out of a hummingbird – ouch! I think this one is too small, at roughly 2.5-3″ long… so I hope I don’t witness any hummingbird murders.

We can’t really figure how he got to the feeder – it would be a stretch, I’m sure he could make… And I figure it probably “fluttered” there, but just to be helpful, I hung a plant nearby in hopes it would find shelter there. I do have another mantid (brown in color) homing in a spider plant.. I’ve watched it grow from about an inch, to now close to 2 inches or slightly more.

Then, a visit to a friends blog and I see this great photo of a walking stick. The last time I saw a walking stick I think I was about 16… it’s been ages! 😉 Take a visit to The Impaitient Gardener to see the walking stick… but don’t leave too quickly.. there are plenty of beautiful pictures to see… take a walk through her garden. 🙂

Cicada

Originally uploaded by merelyhere.

This is such a great capture taken and posted by merelyhere.

A nymph emerging from it’s shell… the wing colors are so pretty.

Reminded me of the Cicada Invasion – Brood X, we had in our area the summer of 2004.. Only coming out every 17 years. It was amazing to see. We had so many of them. I was, admittedly, glad when they finally were gone.


Birds Abound

I added a new bird bath to the back yard.  I found a really nice plant saucer, red even, in hopes of attracting hummingbirds to it, since they like the color red.  It’s nearing the end of May and I have yet to see even one.  I thought I took a few pictures of it, but I can’t find any.  I need new batteries or I would check the camera.  Is it considered camera abuse when you use it to the point the batteries are so dead, it won’t even turn on?

Last week, I saw the cat drinking out it.  Lovely.  It is low, sitting on a cut tree stump.  Can’t imagine that’s very encouraging to the birds.  I won’t have another outdoor cat again.

The other day, I saw Abbey, the Dog, drinking out of it.  Unlike the cat, she didn’t have to reach up to get her links.

Finally, the other morning, a few starlings were playing in it.  Starlings are my favorite birds, as they tend to be bullies and rather messy and piggish in their feeding habits.  Because of them, I’ve taken to only safflower seed – starlings don’t care for it and leave it alone.  The regular cheap mix, they would hog and make a huge mess with it.. presumably because they don’t like to share.  But, hey, where were having fun in the bird bath.

All the birds love the bird bath water dripper.  I see them play in it daily.  I also added an oriole feeder to my collection, filled it with oriole nectar, jelly and orange halves… so far nothing.  I’ll keep holding out hope.  🙂