They’re Back! [NOT 31/5/21]

image of hummingbird about to drink from red trumpet flower
Not my picture, I'm not that skilled. Thank you Missouri Dept of Conservation for this picture.

Hi, friends! What’s something that makes you think of summer?

Aside from a bunch of foods, for me it’s my little hummingbird friends. I’ve waited all winter for them.

Last summer a neighbor casually said “oh there’s a hummingbird” and pointed, and I saw it fly into a pine tree across the street from my house. So I got a feeder from Lowe’s that I can see from the couch.

I get so much happiness watching the little birds fly over, take a drink, and scoot off.

According to the Missouri Dept of Conservation, you should put feeders out in late April. I did this, and then I waited. And waited. AND WAITED. I was getting so worried because I hadn’t seen a single hummingbird yet. Last summer I had at least 3 who visited my feeder (I had 2 male birbs who fought over it and I’d spot a female birb too. I don’t know if there were more than 1 female birbs or not who visited, but I never saw more than 1 at a time). What if none of them survived for this year???

And I know what you’re thinking. Jeez, brightersideoflife, come on. You just were missing when they showed up. First of all, I was changing the sugar water mix out weekly and it wasn’t being consumed. Second, there was a lot of hummingbird traffic at my feeder last summer. I can see it from my couch, and I’d see a birb fly over 5 times in an hour when I was watching tv. So to see NONE for weeks was very disheartening.

And now I have one again! It’s a female ruby-throated hummingbird I think. They’re the only species really common to where I live, so I doubt I got a wanderer here. She’s stopped by 3 times in just twenty minutes I’ve been working on this post. 🙂



  1. Pro tip from Mrs. Butcher who does this stuff for a living:  it’s best to change out the nectar twice a week.  Once it starts to get stale, they won’t feed from it.

    For me, besides a bunch of different types of foods, it’s the Orioles.  We’ve got three nesting pairs in the area this year and they do enjoy their grape jelly from the feeder.  In fact, they enjoy it so much I basically have to replenish the feeder every day.

    It’s also Asparagus, and we’ve got another month before we stop harvesting for the year. 

  2. I just saw my first hummingbirds in the past few days, but I only got around to putting feeders up a week before that. I’d noticed the water level was going down before that, so I figured either they were visiting or I had screwed on the bottoms wrong, which I am certainly capable of doing.

  3. We have Anna’s hummingbirds year round living in the trees around our house so we are constantly cleaning & refilling.  This time of year we also get transient hummers so we have nonstop aerial battles on my deck.  They will drain 2 good sized feeders in 2 days.  I tell my wife we should claim them as dependents with our sugar bill.  Also, never put food coloring in the feeders.  Fun fact:  they eat mosquitos & gnats too.

    • I think sometimes Anna’s hummingbirds show up in Missouri, but it’s more “oh fuck are you lost?” and not “hey new friend!”

      Yeah I just do 4 parts water to 1 part sugar in the feeder. Not bothering buying the powdered stuff that has what I think is just food coloring and preservatives added to it. Better to just replace the sugar water more often. 

  4. Gah, I don’t have my feeders up. We had an issue with feeders spreading illness among certain finches here, so I had to take down the thistle feeders for a while before just recently reinstalling them. So now I gotta get the h-bird feeders going ASAP. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. We’ve got hummingbirds year round here in the SF Bay Area.  I see a few pretty often where I work, and just the other day saw one gathering thistle down, so that was neat.

  6. Potty training day today went alright. I’m exhausted. If you don’t want potty training details, and I get that, just skip the rest of this. 
    Overall I think there were only 4 or so accidents that resulted in a puddle on the floor – and probably 6 or so where his underwear got just slightly wet before we got to the potty. And a couple successes where we got there in time. By the end of the day, we were generally erring on the other side – he kept thinking he needed to sit on the potty when he didn’t. He’s generally happy to just park on the potty, which isn’t quite what we’re going for… Whatever, I’ll count it as a win – he’ll get better with practice. Though we’ve also had 2 false alarms while resisting bedtime (despite the fact that we’re keeping him in overnights for now), so that’s a new tool in his resisting bedtime arsenal lol (along with being thirsty, needing another hug, needing the fan on or off, needing the nightlight up or down…) 

    • Several years ago my mom was telling me how my grandma watched me so my mom could go back to work full once I hit about 10 months after a falling out with a daycare.

      Grandma taught me things like how to use a spoon and fork, potty training, etc etc.

      To quote my mom, “if you ever have kids, I can definitely paper train them like a puppy, but anything else and I got no fucking clue.”

    • Congrats on the progress.  I’m sure he’ll get there soon.  I don’t miss those days but I miss that age.  Especially when both daughters are leaving the nest at the end of summer.  Enjoy being needed because before you know it, you won’t know anything & then just when they realize you are kind of cool again, they leave home.  

      • I think my husband is going to be the one that has a really hard time with that. I’ve just generally enjoyed whatever age we’re at, though they’ve certainly all had their challenges. Meanwhile my husband is already getting all nostalgic looking at baby pictures and saying he’s going to be an adult before we know it. 

    • That’s pretty good!
      Bedtime resistance arrrrrg. Why can’t bedtime be a happy pleasant thing? My eldest’s favorite things are books and she never warmed to stuffed animals or dolls. Last year when she was 2, she insisted on being covered in bedtime books in order to sleep. She had a specific way in which she needed them stacked on top of her body and around her head. This went on for over a month until we decided to “lose” a book every few days until we got her down to three books in bed.

      • Haha awww that’s super adorable! Lil needs bedtime stories, but he’s never cuddled with books. He has an absolute mountain of stuffed animals in his room, but only 6 of them are his normal “bedtime friends”. 
        Lil also has a lot of things he needs done in very specific ways. I’m just happy I finally got him to agree to let me put a blanket on him – that was a full freakout refusal forever, and we just had to dress him in very warm winter pajamas. 

    • Overall I think there were only 4 or so accidents that resulted in a puddle on the floor – and probably 6 or so where his underwear got just slightly wet before we got to the potty. 

      That sounds like my Friday night.

  7. Cheap fireworks are definitely a sign of summer. The serious ones are illegal where I am, which is probably for the best, but I think I’ll pick up a pack of cheapo fountains soon that I can set off with the kids.
    I hear a few popping off in the distance, but I’m pretty sure this time last year all of the stir crazy people were setting off a lot more already.

  8. summer is here when i need to make two trips to the shops for groceries 
    as the first trip is for me to realize my wallet is in my coat
    which im not wearing

  9. Here, summer is kicked off by being able to “go to the lake” which for *most* folks means a first weekend at the cabin/campground over Memorial Day weekend…
    The smarter folks start going up at least 2 weekends before the holiday, to get the cleaning & yard cleanup done, so that they can simply enjoy the 3-day weekend…. 
    Buuuuut plenty of folks end up wasting the first day/day and a half dusting, cleaning, raking, washing, & de-cobwebing😉
    Ideally, the guys also go up ahead of time (or you hire the guys from the local fire department!), and put the docks in, so that you can just enjoy the 3-day weekend, too. Rather than doing heavy and WET labor!
    This weekend is ALSO typically the first weekend you can *safely* attempt a swim.  It’s not warm enough every year, but usuuuually the water has gotten enough churn/turnover from wind and some good sunny days, that you won’t end up with hypothermia (LITERAL hypothermia, it’s not a joke up here!).
    For *me,* since I’m camper/cabinless, AND since I haaaaaate “cabin traffic” with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, late spring/early summer means Rhubarb season, and *sometime soon* a trip to Sarah Jane’s Bakery over in Nordeast, to get some rhubarb crispies and a rhubarb custard pie🤤🤤🤤
    The bakery changed hands a couple years ago, and I haven’t tried many of the offerings since the switch, but the new owners DID buy the recipes along with the bakery, so I suspect it’s all still as tasty as it was.
    I’ll also be looking for some rhubarb this summer, to make cordial again. I wasn’t able to get any made the last few summers, but I’m *hoping* to get back on track with it (and my fall crabapple cordial!) again this year😉

  10. I put my feeder up early this year because last year I was late and they squawked about it. The first year I lived in my condo I noticed them out there looking, so someone who lived here previously must have def them, so now I must feed them. The feeder I was using broke, then the replacement one I bought they didn’t like, so they would come up to it, squeak, fly over to my patio door, squeak at me, and fly away. I had to try and find something closer to what I had >_<

Leave a Reply