Birds

Rufus hummingbird4/4/10 - Hummingbirds abound in southwest New Mexico. Sixteen or 17 species of the tiny buzzers live here during spring and summer. Our neighbor, Joe, sent an email a couple of days ago advising that the first hummer of the year showed up at his place.

Time to put up our feeder.

Photo © Dan True

Feeder sparHouses in our past have had eaves, from which Ted suspended a drop wire, onto which he hooked the humingbird feeder. The New Mexico house, a faux adobe, has no eaves. Not a problem, Ted bespoke. We have a pole cobbled together from woodscraps and spare sailboat parts that held up one of the seed feeders in Virginia. We'll just use it for the hummingbird feeder.

That involved digging a hole to sink the aluminum spar. We all know by now that digging holes out here is not only hard work, but also yields poor results. Even after you remove all the stones for which you have strength and patience, the hole still won't be deep enough.

We dug the hole anyway, using a soil auger, digging bar, spade, trowel, and plenty of sweat and blue language.

The hole didn't end up as deep as we wanted, so the pole sat cockeyed and it wobbled in the wind, but it would do.

We filled a feeder and hung it on the pole.

The feeder whipped in the wind like a signal flag in a Force 10 breeze.

Every few minutes, a gust would blow the feeder near horizontal and a stream of hummer syrup would gurgle from the bottle and dribble onto the ground.

Didn't take long before the feeder was empty, although no hummingbirds imbibed. A puddle of syrup seeped into the caliche and ants will no doubt enjoy it as soon as the weather warms sufficiently to bring them out.

The feeder needs a more sheltered location, but nobody wants to try digging another hole for it.

What about mounting an angle brace to the side of the house? Bad idea. Puts holes in the stucco.

What about building a hanger that fits over the parapet?