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August 04, 2011


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Robert Stubblefield

I just finished my second 25# bag of sugar this season!! Our family anxiously awaits the arrivals of our little flighty nectar feeders each year and are fortunate to have many of them. Your formula for estimating numbers is certainly revealing and makes sense considering the frequency I fill my feeders(3). The Texas Hill Country is where we call home. Thanks Guys

Kathleen M. Rose

I usually hang 3 large feeders. I refresh late at night so they are ready to go for early morning shift. This time of the year I usually have 4 to 5 hummers sitting per feeder at a time, peacefully until one of them makes a sudden move and then they all bolt!. I have an additional 3 feeders in the refrigerator ready to change out usually by mid-afternoon. Amazing sight! We are in middle Mississippi and the last ones usually leave late October. One year I had a very tiny straggler that I kept feeding until middle November( on the advice of the State Wildlife Commission) until he left. These little fellows bring me such joy!

D Hercsek

Here in Akron Ohio we have 2-3 feeding at one time. Thanks for the formula.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Billy, that's a lot of hummingbirds and a lot of nectar! I'd be interested to know where you're located. Thanks for sharing!


We have about 180. I've see as many as 30 at one time.
At one time we fed up to 5lb of sugar a day.

The Zen Birdfeeder

PL, if you see 4 hummingbirds at once, according to research you could have up to 24 hummingbirds visiting your nectar feeders. No wonder you're filling them every day! Enjoy all those hummers!


OK I'm totally confused. I have a little window feeder that gets emptied each day. I have only ever seen four hummingbirds at a time. The Perky Pet feeder is 8 ounces and I fill it each day. Thanks!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Dave, sounds like you did the right thing first by freshening the nectar. The hummingbirds may already be on the move, depending where you live. Sorry I can't be more specific, but it's hard to tell for sure. Thanks for visiting!

dave wommack

After more than one year of feeding hummingbirds on our patio -- every day, all day 4-12 at a time -- suddenly they have deserted us. Not one. We haven't changed anything in the feed. We swapped out new feed (sugar water) thinking somehow the prior day's feed was "old" or tainted. No luck. No hummingbirds for several days. What could be the matter.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Erin, 6 at one time is great, especially with the banding estimate. They're so much fun to try to keep track of. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!


Wow. We've seen six at one time. Only three ever together on the feeder and even THAT only lasts until one of them flinches. :-D

The Zen Birdfeeder

Tlwetter, what an amazing sight that must be. We in the east just don't ever see those kind of numbers...lucky you!!


We live in San Diego County and have been feeding hummingbirds for over 30 years. 6 - 16 Clean, fresh feeders are available everyday with the maximum # of feeders available May-Sep. Fighting for the territory is only a rare occurrence nowadays and always short-lived. We have 32oz, 50oz and 72oz feeders and put out 3 - 4 gals of 4:1 sugar water every day on July and August. Figure we're feeding 500 or more hummingbirds when the whole crowd is here.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Shannon, sounds like a busy yard you have there! Thanks for your visit to our blog.

Shannon Chandler

Thanks for the info. on the droppings. I do believe that it is only hummingbird droppings. The leaves are covered with white/clear substance where the feeders are placed. I have a video of our birds on my facebook page if you want to watch all of them. I take pictures of them all the time and video.We have finches also but they are away from the hummer feeders. I feed all kinds of wildlife. We have several deer/squirels/turkey/finch/hummingbirds/cardinals and the occasional bear or coyote. Happy Wildlife Watching Everyone.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Shannon - that's a lot of hummingbirds!
As far as your droppings question: hummingbird droppings consist of a clearish urine that contains uric acid and some solids made up of undigested insect parts. I don't know what the concentration of uric acid is, but I think it would be hard to blame hummingbirds for ALL the droppings and foliage die-off. Hard to tell. Sorry I couldn't be of more help with that question.

Shannon Chandler

If the calculations you provide are true then we have around 72 birds that feed on our 3 feeders. I have always tried to count them, but it's hard. We fill all 3 feeders twice a day. Lots and lots of fun to watch. Thanks for the info. I also have a question, will hummingbird droppings kill plants and shrubs? I have noticed that a bush and a liliac bush have unusually started to loose leaves since the birds have decided to rest on them, and there is an unusual amount of droppings on them? Thanks for any info you can give me.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Ellen, we are seeing 3-4 taking each other on, but a max of 2 on one feeder at a time. Even that is rare!
Ruth, as mentioned, the hummingbird experts above used hummingbird banding to arrive at the estimate.


Interesting. But it's rare for more than one hummingbird to be at our feeder... the best-case scenario is to see one hummingbird dive-bomb another on the way there!

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  • Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.


  • Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.


  • Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.