There was a time when I no more believed in the presence of hummingbirds in Brevard County, Florida than I did of the legendary skunk ape…a Bigfoot-like creature that supposedly roams the wild areas of Florida. I’m from Missouri, better known as the show-me state, and since I had never seen hummingbirds in Brevard County, they were just a myth to me.
But after years of gardening to try to attract them (hummingbirds, not skunk apes), we were finally blessed with the presence of these beautiful winged creatures at our home back in 2004. They arrived during the winds from hurricane Frances to feed on a firebush plant that we had planted near the front of our house. We were so excited and enthralled that we immediately went and dug out an old hummingbird feeder, made sugar water nectar, and hung the feeder near out kitchen window. Sure enough, the hummingbird returned rather quickly to feed on the nectar and the plants.
The next day, I was in Walmart stocking up on hummingbird plants and feeders, and we have been rewarded with visits from hummingbirds ever since.
I lived in Florida for 37 years before I was able to entice a hummingbird to my yard by changing some of my gardening practices. It took a hurricane for me to be able to really observe them up close. Since then, I have been able to sit on a bench on my front porch and watch daily as hummingbirds visit my feeders. I have seen what I have only read about before: their territorial actions of chasing other hummers from the feeder and their fights with the bees that also visit the feeders. I have had them hover in front of me and make their tiny chirping sound and I even had one fly right in between my arms as I re-hung a cleaned feeder.
Since we first purchased our property, we began immediately to make an effort to keep our property wildlife friendly. We have purchased plants that are favorites of local wildlife, have provided water and shelter and have eliminated the use of harmful chemicals in our yard. We have done this not only because we love seeing gopher tortoises, rabbits, birds, butterflies, foxes and even a bobcat in our yard. But also because we love the natural beauty of Brevard County, Florida and want to do our part to help preserve it.
If you are a property owner, you have the incredible opportunity to get a birds-eye view of the wonders of nature happening right outside your door.
Please do your part for the environment by learning how to Take Care of Your Share of the Planet.
© 2009, Betsy S. Franz, All Rights Reserved
** Full Article “Hurricane Hummers” Available for purchase.