Saturday, November 12, 2011

Feed the hummers

For this holiday season, I have created four special holiday cards. The back panel includes information about the images featured in my cards. Another blog post includes the greeting from my newest card Holiday Home.

My Solstice Hummers card includes a reminder to keep a hummingbird feeder up if you live on the West Coast or northern Arizona. Anna's hummingbirds – a male is pictured above – live in coastal Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia year-round. No one seems to know why, for sure, although climate change is sending animals to places we haven't seen them before. We have great egrets, which are rare in western Washington, here at the wildlife refuge in winter. Northern cardinals are gradually making their way westward too.

We see two kinds of hummingbirds in western Washington – Anna’s and rufous. Sometimes other varieties whiz through on their migration paths.

Keeping your feeder up in winter will not discourage hummers from migrating. We have many plants that bloom in winter in western Washington. Nectar freezes at 28 degrees F, so bring feeders in at night when it is below freezing.

To make nectar combine1 part white sugar (no honey, fructose, artificial sweeteners, or food coloring) with 4 parts water. Bring to a boil, then take off stove and let nectar cool. Clean feeders with hot water and a brush before filling.

Never use soap. If feeder is very dirty, clean with white vinegar. Change food every 2-5 days in warm weather; every day if it is over 85 degrees. In cold weather, below 40 degrees, change food every 5-7days.

Rufous hummingbirds – a female is pictured inside this card – migrate north to the Pacific Northwest in March and migrate south in September and October.

Cards are 50% off and calendars are 20% off from my supplier through November 20.

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