Early hummingbirds

Holy cow, the hummingbirds are already here in central Indiana and we've been having very cold nights! Is there anything I can do to help out the little guys besides making sure my feeder is full with fresh food everyday?
Giselle (I'd knit them little ponchos but they won't stay still long enough to be sized)
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insect food sources become more abundant. Hummingbirds love to eat aphids and easily get sick from ingesting even small amounts of pesticides.

stuff stuck on a fence or tree to provide them nest-building materials if they choose to settle down.
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wrote:

Thanks, I'll try that. No pesticides in my yard. What survives, survives without my help. :)
Will they be alright at night when they have to nest? It's only getting into the lower 30s but I worry about them at night. I'd leave a light on all night as a heat source (like we do in the hen house when it gets real cold) but I know they wouldn't hang around it anyway.
Giselle (poor little guys -- I guess the last heat wave confused them, too)
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they'll head back south for a time.
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finally left most of mine in crotches of trees and they tore it up and carried it all away. I was amazed. made me feel better about the amazing amount I had accumulated in my laundry cave. madgardener who wonders now if her hummers are lurking about and estatic with all the spring flowers that are bursting open up in Fairy Holler...............
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Hi Mad,
I always thought that putting out dryer lint was NOT a good thing to do ... concerns of dyes and perfumes from our laundry and if the stuff gets wet it'll just hold water and keep things cold and damp for a while.
I put out my cat's fur (of course he has relinquished it to the brush first) :-)
Catty One (aka LeeAnne in another newsgroup life, been ages since I posted here)

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well, I figure that since most of my lint is washed and only slightly smells (birds don't have much of a sense of smell, well, SOME birds, since the "if you handle the baby bird the mother won't save it and it'll die as she smells you on her baby" is a myth. Yes, vultures, and what not, but since the mother's feathers are moisture resistant, I figure she's sheltering them from damp and what not. Never thought of fur, although the picture of Pat Fish's dog being plucked by the bird for nesting material comes to my humorous mind's eye. How you doing, LeeAnne? (need to e-mail me so I can send you a few pictures of flowers that are popping up here in Fairy Holler)
catch me up on things. always good to hear from one of the established residents of our "neighborhood" <g> madgardener
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I always see hummingbirds arrive about the same time as apple blossoms. At least that is how they have behaved for the past 25 years.
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On 4 May 2005 14:54:01 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com opined:

Hummingbirds and most other migratory species on the planet all operate on a science called phenology. It's basically when cause and effect occur, not necessarily a particular date, but a series of events, causes and conditions.
An example would be (actually this is a very bad example and more myth, but what the hell...) a mesquite tree will not put out new growth till all danger of frost is gone. Not true, but sort of an example.
Different things happen when light gets longer or shorter, temps higher or lower, and in the case of this year after having one of the worst tsunami's in history, where the earth wobbled, many places where springs are usually very warm, have been rather cold. I have no idea, scientifically, if this is the cause, but it's been cold as shit here in Texas.
V
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opined:

I'm new to this area but I thought the date that everyone started putting out feeders was toward the end of May. In fact, I had thought about putting out my feeder when it got warm a few weeks ago but I thought I was way too early.
It's a good thing those little guys know to come and look in the window until they get your attention. They may not talk but they speak very clearly. :)
Giselle
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On Thu, 5 May 2005 17:15:23 -0500, "\"Fragile Warrior\" Volfie"

They show up here in Texas around March 15 thru April 1. We put feeders out March 1 in case someone shows up, but our garden is full of nectar plants for them. They may not talk, but they trill and make a LOT of noise as they dive bomb one another day and night. One day I set up the video camera to film them at the feeder and I couldn't believe the action! Lots of boys fighting, chest out whipping around.
V
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opined:

Hey, since you watch them a lot, I have a question for you: have you ever seen a hummingbird with something on its leg that looked like foam? Two years in a row, I had a hummingbird with something hanging from one leg that looked and moved like foam -- almost the consistancy of shaving foam or stiff egg whites. The first year I saw it, I thought about trying to catch it to see if it was something that the hummer needed help removing but I never got brave enough to try it. Then I saw the same bird -- or maybe a different one? -- the next year, too. Is this just some hummingbird faux pas I don't know about or does my little hummer have some sort of fungus problem?
Giselle
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On Fri, 6 May 2005 17:40:34 -0500, "\"Fragile Warrior\" Volfie"

Hmm, I have no idea! I hope it's not a problem with the poor little things. They have such inefficient feet to begin with. You may want to go ask Lonnie over in rec.birds...
V
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Hi, Just make sure you don't put any red dye in the feeder. They come without it and it causes soft shells and blindness in the baby birds Dakotabear1
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Not moi. I make my own nectar with good old sugar and water. Errr... 1:4, right?
Giselle (well, however I'm doing it, it must be good because there are lots of little hummers out there today)
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