When we first moved into this apartment nine years ago, we immediately bought a hummingbird feeder because we had a balcony! We never saw any hummingbirds… The red nectar dried up and the whole thing got gross so I threw it out. I figured hummingbirds didn’t like our balcony because it had no flowers (couldn’t possibly be because the thing was never changed or cleaned right?). During this past school year when I had to leave before 7am, I saw several hummingbirds drinking from feeders on balconies which overlooked the parking lot and had no plants. I decided to try again- although it took me some time… when they restuccoed the building, they took down the hook we had used for the previous one. I had to get a chain cut at OSH and rig it up to a pool noodle to get it up to a nail on our very high rafters. My husband ended up doing the honors.
So- it was up for 3 days with no takers. Then our son woke us up yesterday morning by saying “I see hummingbirds!” and indeed he did. They visited all day! I didn’t want to scare them away so my pictures are taken from far away- but they were so adorable!!! Here’s my best shot:
I went with the squashed tray model (that’s my name for it- can you tell?) because that’s what they have at the garden part of the Natural History Museum and those are swarming with hummingbirds. I might get another one because they’re already fighting over this one. I opted to make my own nectar which everyone should do- it’s 4 parts water and one part sugar. I keep the leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge. Finally- a use for a mason jar that’s not Pinterest salad!
So while walking to the laundry- we saw one of these crawling up the building:
That is a friggin tarantula hawk wasp! It was gigantic. I’m angry I didn’t have my phone with me… but I googled it frantically when I got back to the apartment. These things paralyze tarantulas and drag them into their nests, lay eggs in them and let their babies eat it alive. Their sting is only rivaled by the bullet ant- so named because their sting feels like… a bullet. Holy crap!!!
So… nature! It was a fun day.