What kind of feeder is this?

This is supposed to be a hummingbird feeder. You know what those are, right? Usually red, holds sugar water for the hummingbirds to eat. This year I've got one of my feeders hanging from my climbing rose trellis, so it's right outside the kitchen window. I see it dozens of times a day without even trying.

Why is it that most of the time I look out there I don't see hummingbirds, but this guy?

It's a downy woodpecker, and apparently he (and all downys) love sugar water. Sometimes I'll see this guy at the feeder and his mate next in line on the trellis.

What? Who? What did I do?

The woodpeckers are not the only ones drinking the nectar intended for the hummers either:

This wasp has found it. There may be more than a single wasp involved, but I've only seen one near the feeder at a time. Last year I had a swarm of honey bees at one of the feeders, so a single wasp isn't too bad. It does tend to keep the hummingbirds away though -- I've seen them fly up, see the wasp, then fly away immediately.

That's right, I do see hummingbirds using the feeder too:

This female is a regular visitor.

As is this male:

So I guess it is safe to call this a hummingbird feeder after all -- even if they do have to share it with "cousins" both large and small.

I'll post more about hummingbirds throughout the summer, but if you don't have a feeder for them in your yard, go buy an inexpensive one and hang it up. Watching these tiny visitors to your yard or garden is very rewarding!

For more information about hummingbirds, feeders, migratory maps, photos, and much more, visit hummingbirds.net. It's a great site!  Interestingly, the guy who runs that site lives just a few miles from me. (I do not know him.)

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