Search This Blog

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Are We Doing Wrong?

Reading many (many) RV blogs, we’ve come across an recurring theme. Bird watching.

Having limited skills, I know I can recognize that a chicken nugget comes from a rooster chicken and that it is in my best interests to try and stay out from under flying seagulls, but that's about as far as my birding talents go.

Being a little envious of amazing bird pictures, I decided that maybe we could start out the easy way, with a hummingbird feeder stuck on the outside of one of our dark tinted windows on the Journey. That way, from the comfort of our rolling home, we could snap away to our heart's content and join that esteemed group...bird photographers.

With glee, we found an nice, bright red hummingbird feeder. It was prepackaged with sugar and according to the instructions, all we had to do was add water, shake, hang and enjoy the flocks of hummingbirds racing for a chance to get a beak full of their favorite sweet treat.

In no time, the feeder was set up and hung on our window. We waited, and waited, and waited, and get the idea. No hummingbirds showed up.  For days and days.


Then one morning, success! A hummingbird showed up!


It took a long drink, long enough for me to snap its picture from behind our dark tinted window.  In fact, I got several pictures.


After what seemed like mere seconds, it flew off.  A few minutes later, it came back, or maybe it was a friend.


A couple more drinks and off it flew.  We waited, cameras in hand for more visits from the hummingbirds.  We waited, and waited and waited some more, but no more hummers returned.

Three weeks later we still have the same view.


No more hummingbirds and the water level has remained the same, no little visitors snacking, even when we’re not around.

So, the question.  What are we doing wrong?  Do we have the feeder in the wrong place?  Is the sugar water the wrong food?  Is it my breath (I brush my teeth regularly)?

We’re asking for advice from our experienced RV friends so we can correct the error of our ways, take corrective action (military term) and sit back to enjoy our little flying friends.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I'm sure you'll get help from people much more knowledgeable than I, but having had hummingbird feeders for a few years, I can say that they don't like old food or dirty feeders. Change the sugar mixture once a week, even if it's barely been touched. While you're doing that, clean the feeder really well and rinse well so there's no soap smell. They are picky little things :)

  2. My sister in law is the hunmmingbird queen in Keremeos, BC...she has at least a dozen feeders..she makes the the nectar on the stove..water and sugar..boiled and then food colouring is necessary..
    the birds come back every year...the babies come back too..sort of like 'if you build it they will come'..just be patient..change the nectar flowers will attract them too..good luck..happy waiting!..the one that came to eat may have just been passing through?..on it's way to somewhere else?

  3. I agree -- water and sugar and not the pre-packaged stuff. Keep the feeder clean and change the water regularly. The hummingbirds have gotten spoiled. They want the fresh food. Love'em.

  4. I am far from even knowledgeable about the bird population. Oh sure I know they come in various colors and sizes, any pictures I get are by accident.

  5. 1 part sugar, 4 parts water, no food coloring. . .and clean the feeder with vinegar, not soap. . .

    Did you see the pics I got of the hummingbird on her nest at Medina Lake in Texas. . .awesome!


  6. Hang in there...nice photos!!! You probably got a migrator. Don't give up...they will return!!!

  7. We don't have the hummers, but it took the small birds months to find our window feeder. Now we can't keep enough food for them!

  8. We don't cook the sugar water just stir it until it dissolves.

  9. I've always been amazed by hummingbirds. Nice pictures of your little friend.

  10. Everyone is correct about the fresh nectar, especially in hot weather. I hang my feeder away from the rig but near a tree or bush so the hummers can perch after a drink. My guess is that your visitor appreciated his sip on his way north for the summer.

    It took five days for a hummer to find the feeder at my present location.

  11. I agree...don't buy the premade red syrup. Use 4 parts water, one part sugar, boil and cool. Change it weekly and clean the feeder out well as it gets skunky. Also, you can try setting up something red outside. Anything...they are attracted to red colors and will often come to check it out. I've had them check out my shirt!

    Hummers come back to the exact same spot year after year. We'd find them fluttering in an area where we had a feeder the year before as if to say "where's my feeder?"

    Great pictures.

  12. Judy is my authority so there is nothing left for me to say but good luck. Those were very fine pictures you got and I suspect when you clean and refill the feeder others will show up. But aren't you moving???

    1. Yep, we're rolling on Monday, so the feeder will have to come in. We'll try the boiling recipe next time we land for a couple of weeks.

  13. If ever in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy, you will find yourself filling the feeders a couple times a day. What a kick!

  14. I agree with everybody else, but I use 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. And I think it goes bad in a couple of days, so don't make very much at a time. And also maybe there aren't very many hummers where you are and it has nothing to do with the food...

  15. "Bird Watching" I thought that is what young English lads do. :>)

  16. When I put our hummer feeder out, all I get are ants! And at night I get raccoons who come and chew off the little plastic flowers so all the liquid comes out. I give up.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  17. Just found your blog and love your adventures! Thank you so much for posting your experiences so that those of us who can't enjoy this dream can feel like they are traveling right along with you!!