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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here come the Hummingbirds. Are you ready?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Costas' Hummingbird
The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are about to arrive in north Texas (a few are already here). An excellent check on their daily northward progress is at the migration maps at . So put out nectar feeders now, to attract the early arrivers.

A few people have told me that they'll put out nectar feeders whenever they see their first Hummingbird, which is thinking that's illogically backwards. Now is when Hummingbirds establish their nesting locations and movements for the entire summer: where they will look for food, where they can safely build their tiny nests and so on.



A hawk’s buffet      Hawks, falcons, kites (“raptors”) love it when you put birdfeeders out in the open - like in the middle of a lawn.  A "targeted bird" has no way to get away. All but the bravest, or dumbest songbirds, on the other hand, try out-in-the-open feeders. Every feeder absolutely needs a nearby escape route. Shrubs, tall native grasses, even a discarded christmas tree should be no more than 4 to 6 feet from a feeder, so songbirds don’t wind up as a predator's lunch.

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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