The plans for this year at Desert Rat Studio are starting to take shape.
Doug has given several talks on hummingbird feeders and bird fountains and waterers.
He has tested 80 to 100 different feeders. Most failed in our area because of the Africianized Bees, but he did find about 20 that work here! Doug has promised that he will do some video snippets from his talks. He plans to give background info on hummingbird feeders from the 40’s, main points to look at and for before buying feeders.
What to look for? Here is a short list:
- Port size – to large and the bees and flies get into the feeder.
- Nectar leaks – what prevents nectar from leaking a given feeder?
- Height of nectar in the saucer part of the feeder – can bees still reach the nectar?
- Are Africanized bees in your area? They seem to be smaller than the European bees. So ports need to be smaller if your area has Africanized bees.
- Are the feeders stable in wind or when a larger bird lands on it? Do they spill nectar when they tip?
There are other reasons for choosing (or not) a certain feeder:
- Ease of cleaning
- Cheap materials that will not last in a given area
- You might want (or not) one because of the way it looks – choosing one as an ornament that you can’t use as a feeder
Doug points out the good and bad points on many feeders. He explains what he likes about each feeder and what he wished the makers had included in their manufacturing / testing program before marketing them. He goes into some of the scientific reasons why many fail.
We plan to test the feeders by brand (against at least one that keeps bees out and does not attract bees.)
Doug’s talk on waterers is directed mainly at ones that you could make with items that you might already have or could easily get. Most of the birds that have adopted our home as theirs are small. They need shallow ponds that slope gently and have a good surface for walking. They also like to drink from drips or gentle sprays.
During 2017 we hope to get some of this information on DRS.
We also plan to start selling some of the pictures of cactus and desert plants along with their flowers as well as pictures of the birds and other critters that also make DRS their home. We are able to print them on shirts, cups, coasters, etc. We will be using PayPal so your important information will never be on this site.
Once again – Happy New Year!
Julie and Doug Loney