Diane Loyd’s Hummer Home is one of 25 which will be part of the Hummer Homes Tour during Rockport’s HummerBird Celebration for 2017. This is the first year the Loyd home has been part of this event but this property has been part of the hummingbird migration for many years.
“It began a long time ago when my grandparents started feeding the hummingbirds”, said Diane Loyd. “We started creating a big flock here. Then my parents fed them and then I fed them -three generations!”
“We’ll have between 100 to 200 (hummingbirds) on the property every day during the migration,” said Diane. “It starts about August 15 and continues until the middle of October.”
Diane and her mother Dovie Howard will hang 75 feeders filled with a mixture of sugar and water, 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. Diane said this gives the hummingbirds energy to chase after mosquitos and moths, soft bodied bugs, to get the protein needed for their diet.
If the daytime temperature is 100 degrees, the Loyd/Howard family and friends will clean feeders every four days. All 75 feeders are taken down, emptied, cleaned well then refilled. When it cools to daytime highs in the nineties, the feeder cleaning routine is done every five days. When it drops into the eighties, it becomes a six-day routine.
After they drink the nectar, Diane said the tiny birds sit in a tree for about 15 minutes so the sugar water can be processed into the energy they need to fly.
The hummers go up into trees about sundown and go into a stupor. Their heartbeat slows to preserve energy so they will be ready to fly again the next day with their tiny wings beating up to a thousand times a minute.
A wild hummingbird’s lifespan can be from 3 to 12 years with a memory just as long since they will return to the same locations on their migration trail. So as the hummers return to the home of Diane Loyd, they may be roosting in the very same tree as their ancestors.
The HummerBird Celebration will include more than the Hummer Homes Self-Guided Tour from September 14 through September 17, 2017. There will be guest speakers and printed information for those who desire to learn more about hummingbirds. Held on the Rockport Fulton ISD campuses. One area will be filled with vendors whose merchandise will include the hummingbird theme.
Visit http://www.rockport-fulton.org/HB for maps and directions, event schedules and admission tickets.
Follow My Coastal World to find out how Diane Loyd planned, cultivated and created her hummingbird and butterfly habitat on the sandy soil of Copano Cove.