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snickerkitten

Hummingbirds in Florida?

SnickerKitten
17 years ago

Ok, I've lived in Florida for 20 years now and have NEVER seen a hummingbird. However, every garden center has tons of hummingbird feeders and nectar. Am I missing out? If I plant more hummingbird attracting plants will I start seeing hummingbirds here in Orlando?

Lori

Comments (238)

  • mboston_gw
    7 years ago

    A mature male would have a full red gorget that would appear b lack when light is not on it, red when light hits it. A mature female would not have any gorget or very little. Coloring varies too. Hard to say without a picture.

  • yborgal
    7 years ago

    I believe I have a female. I'm hoping to video her in the next couple of days...I have my camera with me now every time I go out .

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  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have been intrigued by their chirping, because of the situation and
    process. The situation is that of solo bird feeding on flowers.
    The process : chirps prior to going at each individual flower
    (not every one, but the large majority).
    Always silent when perched.

    Given the situation, it is not a communication thing
    (unless perhaps an automatic broadcast to all things living,
    a primordial "That flower is mine".)

  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    Yes, they will do that sometimes and I'm not sure why. On the other hand, what I am hearing daily is their high-pitched squeals when they chase each other around. I think I have four or five around now. For some reason most of them seem to be around in the afternoons. I see single birds in the mornings, but later there are more. All seem to be juveniles or females. I don't see any mature males now.

  • gyr_falcon
    7 years ago

    Always silent when perched.

    Interesting how varied the hummingbird species can be regarding vocalization. Anna's can be very vocal. YouTube Example Even the females, while not the songsters, will chirp, chatter and scold.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    Middle of afternoon, perched for nine minutes before resuming feeding
    from flowers; by much the longest perching that I have seen.
    How common is that, in your (readers) experience?

  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    Nine minutes is a long time. I assume she was in the shade?

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    Region-wide shading by continuous thick grayish-white blanket.

  • Jeanne Blackwood
    7 years ago

    I live in South Florida...and just purchased the feeder and nectar...did I waste my money....because from what I see...I think I won't see hummingbirds at all let alone in the spring??? Can someone help?

  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    First of all, Jeanne, purchasing nectar isn't necessary or even recommended. Plain white sugar mixed in a 3 or 4 to one ratio with water is the best. Most of us boil the mixture first, then cool it before we use it. There is evidence of hummingbirds in south Florida at all times of the year, but most are seen in the winter months. Plant some hummer-friendly plants and you have a good chance of seeing them. Feeders work well also, but you will need to change the mixture every thee days or so to make sure that it doesn't spoil.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    For Jeanne's (and birds') benefit, I write: Tom, I imagine that instead you intended one to 3 or 4.

  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    Yes. Three or four parts of water to one of sugar.

  • Jeanne Blackwood
    7 years ago

    Thank you....since I already purchased the nectar...I will use it..though I haven't seen any as yet...will watch for another day or two then change it...Can't plant any plants...so will continue to use the feeder and nectar until it's gone...then will do the sugar water mixture...

  • Rebecca Parker
    7 years ago

    I am only seeing females right now, I have about 4 or five. I can't seem to figure out why they don't like my new feeder. I have 3 feeders total. I also have a Firecracker plant... They dont' like the one marked 3.....

    Hummingbirds · More Info

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    First, determine whether truly they do not like it : remove other feeders
    (which is not the same as keeping empty other feeders in place),
    and put this in place of a liked feeder.

    If they do not like it, then potentially explanatory factors to explore :
    - confirm that it works
    - compare feeders' ergonomics (drinking tubes' angles, depths, widths)
    - somehow reduce the glare (it is very reflective)
    - wash to make it solvent-less and odorless

  • Rebecca Parker
    7 years ago

    Well now that I've washed out the feeders, and added homemade nectar (1 part sugar 4 parts water) and NOT added the red food coloring which is apparently bad for hummers, my feeders are down to 1 bird.... instead of the flurry of activity I had seen before. IDK if it has to do with the impending weather from Storm Erika....or what.....
    *insert sad face*

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    I would wrap the container in something red, non-reflective.
    Perhaps cloth, synthetic (non-absorbent) .


  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    I see two major possibilities, Rebecca--or perhaps a combination of the two. One, most of the birds you saw were part of the migration south of Ruby-throateds. The ones you saw came from more southern parts of Florida and northern parts of Georgia and are on their way towards the Gulf and eventually Mexico or other parts of Central America.

    The other possibility is that you had a group of recently-hatched birds or juveniles that usually stay around the nest area for a while with their mothers.

    You should have some birds around for another month or so. You might even see some other species of hummingbirds where you are later in the fall and possibly even into the winter months if the weather is mild. Rufous and Black-chinned are sometimes seen in your area at these times. I sometimes see both in the months from December through early March. I think a Calliope was seen in the Gainesville area last winter. This is very rare.

    I'm in Central Florida and I will see some over-wintering Ruby-throateds in the winter also.

  • Rebecca Parker
    7 years ago

    Thanks Tom! I have seen one lone bird over the last two days...what do you think about what Four says?

  • Tom zone 9b Florida
    7 years ago

    Whichever feeder that the hummers have shown they like best, that is the one I would leave out. Hummers do like the color red. Some people put out red ribbons or other red things to attract them. There have been many reports of hummers buzzing around people with red hats or red clothing.

    I must confess to the red ribbons. I have no idea whether or not they helped.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    My two blooming Clerodendrum paniculatum are blocked from view.
    Would like to know whether readers observe that hummingbirds
    often drink of C. p. Pagoda Flower.

  • Tom
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I planted one of these about seven years ago when I observed a hummer visiting it at the Sanford zoo. It has now increased to many and they are visited mostly by butterflies. I would say that it isn't a top- flight hummingbird plant, but they will use it at times.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    7 years ago

    That little story says it all. Thanks.

    Although not the same, it brings to mind a recent comment by
    an employee in butterfly plants section of local nursery.
    So many times they see butterflies devoting themselves to
    a kind of flower, thereafter ignoring it.
    Probably all of us have observed same.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    6 years ago

    Hummingbirds and Bumblebees frequent the Passionflowers.
    I saw an H opportunistically dart at an escaping B,
    heard a very brief crinkling sound, no longer saw B.
    H returned to P.

    I find it difficult to think that H instantly swallowed B,
    but I do not know enough to rule it out.

  • mdelgr01
    6 years ago

    Okay. So I live in Plantation and have planted firecracker plants and torenias. I also have 3 bottlebrush trees. At first I thought I had some hummers feeding from the bottlebrush flowers and was so excited, but then I noticed that they never hover when feeding. As far as I have learned, the only bird that is attracted to bottlebrush are hummers. I also put a feeder out there, but I have never seen one come to it. it is a very tiny brown bird with brown and gold stripes on its head. Does anyone know if this is a hummingbird or something else.

  • Tom
    6 years ago

    When you say small, how small was it? Hummingbird moths often visit the same plants that hummingbirds do. They are about half the size of a hummingbird and feed mainly at dusk, night and dawn.

  • mdelgr01
    6 years ago

    No. I know it's not a hummingbird moth. it is the size of a hummingbird. I keep trying to get a picture of it with my iPhone but it moves and flies around too quickly. When it's feeding on the bottlebrush I can't get a good enough picture. I don't have a good camera.

  • dangermouse01 (coastal central FL 9B)
    6 years ago

    Some birds will visit the bottle brush looking for insects. I've seen mockingbirds, wrens and other small finch types poking around the leaves and flowers on our bottle brush.

    I would suspect a wren.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    6 years ago

    "feeding from the bottlebrush flowers"
    and
    "feeding on the bottlebrush"

    We must try to establish the exact action of feeding
    because plants host insects and produce seeds,
    foods for both humming and other birds.
    In the case of bottlebrush flower, you may find it difficult to see
    what the beaks are getting.

    Some sparrows are tiny. There are sparrows that fit your description.



  • Tom
    6 years ago

    The bird you described might be a female Golden-crowned Kinglet. I see them sometimes--at least I think they are what I see. They will hang upside down at times and feed from my hummingbird plants. They are about the same size as hummingbirds (maybe a little bigger) and eat many of the same insects, but they rarely hover. Very cool little birds.

  • mdelgr01
    6 years ago

    I don't think it's a kinglet. I checked it out online and it doesn't have those kind of markings on its head. The markings are more subtle. Are you in the south Florida area.

  • gyr_falcon
    6 years ago

    Take warblers into consideration, too. They are bigger bodied than hummingbirds, but they can be quick-moving as they work among the flowers, and some of the short-tailed species especially can appear smaller to the eye. They can appear very different in their fall migration colors, compared to their breeding plumage.

  • Tom
    6 years ago

    I live in Clermont, which is about 20 miles due west of Orlando. It would be interesting to see if you can identify the bird you saw. Another possibility is an Ovenbird.

  • mdelgr01
    6 years ago

    Thanks. I looked online for warbler and this is the little guy (or gal) alright.

  • franco33139ca
    6 years ago

    The smallest Hummer that exist is from Cuba, but I be damn if I recall the name. But the damn thing is really tiny. I remember seeing it in one of those documentary on the Nature Programs about Cuba. Cuba has been luckily untouched by human habitat destruction machine. Although am sure they have done their share of damage themselves. They have been lucky that they haven't been over exploited. I just hope that the new relationship with the United States does not reverse the process and destroy the environment in that process.

    Anyway am fairly sure I so the program about the smallest hummingbird being in Cuba in one of the YouTube documentaries. The Accidental Eden, I just had a flashback.

  • Debra Davis
    6 years ago

    My friend saw a hummingbird at the Mounts Botanical Garden, WPB, FL on the 13th. They had gone to see the LEGO display. I have never seen a hummer in this area.

  • Evelyn Froisland
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've had an interesting week. I have nesting Flickers, and now a pair on small black birds are nesting in the same tree. A lost Homing pigeon has adopted us, an yesterday I saw my first humming bird. I'm so enjoying all the attentio and so are my kitties (indoor). I planted native coral honeysuckle a couple of years ago to attract hummers and I also have two native firebushes to attract hummers and butterflies. Apparently my efforts and patience are starting to pay off. So excited! Daytona Beach

  • Tom
    6 years ago

    Congratulations. It's so rewarding to see your efforts paying off. Enjoy.

  • Margi Burnham
    6 years ago

    Have you tried attracting them with the grape jelly water feeders?


  • Tom
    6 years ago

    I have heard that grape jelly is a good way to attract Baltimore Orioles--although I think they have headed north for now. Simple sugar water is best for hummingbird feeders.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    6 years ago

    I always had seen hummingbird flight between points
    as quick darting and high speed swooping.
    Today I saw one nearby, flying in what I call energy saving mode.
    Just "moving" silently from spot to spot,
    as though being pulled by a string along tracks.
    And the hoverings were uncharacteristically silent, too.

  • toniandtony31
    6 years ago

    I live in Seminole Florida and saw our first one today, 9/1/16

  • ekg52
    5 years ago

    I am a native Floridian and have never seen a hummingbird in Vero Beach until this year. I happened to look out my window and saw one feeding on my Fire Bush. Just this morning it was at the feeder! Never realized they were so tiny!!

  • Midge Swanson
    5 years ago

    from Kim43

    My husband (of 50 years as of 6/2018) & I spend every winter, from 12/30 - 4/30 in the Kissimmee area. I ADORE hummingbirds but have never seen one in the Orlando/Kissimmee area. Is there anyone here from that area who's seen them & can give me advice on how to attract them? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Tom
    5 years ago

    There should be some hummers around in the time that you are here. I live about fifteen miles north of Kissimmee and perhaps ten miles west and I usually see some in the winter months. What works in other parts of the country works here in regards to attracting them. Hang out a feeder or two and have some plants around that they like.

    Are you going to be in an apartment, a house? Probably the best thing for you either way is to buy some blooming plants from stores nearby and put them in somewhat larger pots. As I'm sure you know, hummers are attracted to plants with tubular blooms, although they will visit many plants with attractive flowers.

  • jim1939
    5 years ago

    We have some hummers in and around our yard. We live in
    Brevard near Titusville. What surprised me was the number of hummers I
    witnessed in AK on Prince of Wales Island located 45 over water from the nearest
    point of land on the mainland. Also, the vast numbers of this tiny species. One
    of the neighbors had a feeder hanging from his rafter tails. It was a half
    gallon feeder. He had to re-fill it WEEKLY!!!!Amazing!

  • Midge Swanson
    5 years ago

    Are they attracted to hibiscus? We rent the same house each year, and the backyard fence is lined w/ hibiscus. Since it's a rental, we'll have to get permission to hang feeders.

  • jim1939
    5 years ago

    I find that they sometimes visit the hibiscus but more often they visit shrimp plants and roses after their first option - the feeder.

  • four (9B near 9A)
    4 years ago

    > Posted by nanamary2 : "Chaya. The leaves are edible if well cooked but poisonous if not! Not taking any chances there."

    Mary, I ate some today al lunch. Tastes great.
    Tastes nothing like spinach (which also I like.).

  • Frank Taylor
    4 years ago

    I live about 20 miles east of naples, FL. I keep a journal for various interests and one of the things i've been keeping track of is hummingbird visits to my yard. I counted the number of days I saw HB's in my yard and it came to 188 days in the past year. They have been feeding on firebush plants. These plants bloom constantly except for a 6 to 8 week period in winter. When they are not blooming, I put up a tray type feeder to keep the birds around. I have two types of firebush: hamelia patens and calusa firebush. The hamelia flowers are a yellowish orange and the calusas are bright red. The birds don't seem to have a preference. The only differnce I can see is that the calusa flowers seem to close up during the hottest part of the day. Whenever these plants are blooming, the birds completely ignore the feeder. Right now I have about 20 of these plants in my yard, varying in size from a foot tall to almost 6 feet. I only bought 7 plants , then propagated the rest from seed and cuttings.