It's hot outside - give your hummingbirds a fountain! August 07 2014

Of course, we all know that hummingbirds will love nectar and need it to survive. But just like all living things, hummingbirds need plain water, too.  For drinking, for bathing, for cooling off - just like us! The proof is in the pictures and videos below. Enjoy, and scroll down for an easy and inexpensive DIY fountain.

DIY Fountain Idea

Mary MacLellan Stough, of the "Hummingbirds Anonymous" Facebook group, posted step-by-step photos of how she made an inexpensive DIY fountain. I like how it's put together as it could be replicated using just about any color or kind of flower pot or decorative bowl and the sky's the limit in terms of design.
  Start with any kind of bowl, flower pot, or deep dish that is durable enough to be used outdoors. Just remember that it has to hold water, so terra cotta or porous cement won't work. But glazed, resin, or plastic containers should work.

Place a small pond pump in the fountain container. You'll want to place the cord at what will be the back of the fountain, or creatively disguise it with a plant, etc.

Here's a pump that would work well with this: 

Submersible Water Pump for Fountains and Ponds

Place a sponge filter over the pump intake to keep dirt, rocks, or other particles from getting into the pump and breaking it or clogging it up. This sponge filter may need to be rinsed every once in a while to keep it clean (which helps keep the fountain water clean). You may even wish to place an aquarium charcoal filter cartridge near the intake of the pump.
Cover the pump and sponge filter with some kind of decorative media (pebbles, rocks, smooth glass pebbles). This will make it look nicer, keep the sponge filter over the pump intake, keep the pump in place, and keep foreign objects (and bugs!) out of the pump intake.
Place more decorative items such as larger rocks, figurines, etc. as preferred.
Fill the vessel with water (all the way!), plug in your pump, and enjoy! Remember to keep the vessel full of water so the pump doesn't run dry.

Now available on HummingbirdHQ - these solar fountains for you to make your hummingbirds happy!

Floating Solar Water Fountain Pump

And this plug-in submersible pump works under patios or in shady areas! Pro tip for this solar fountain - make the holes a little larger on the spray nozzle to help keep water height at 4-5" so it doesn't accidentally spill or get blown out of the container (bird bath, etc.) that you're using.

Submersible Water Pump for Fountains and Ponds



My hummingbird video from Bonaire, with stills to help identify it... June 20 2014

I'm not sure if it gets any better than relaxing on a patio, overlooking a beautiful ocean, with hummingbird zooming all about. I took this video on a vacation in Bonaire. There were many hummingbirds in the yard and there was a lounge chair seated very close to one of the plants that had the red flowers upon which they would perch and feed. I sat in the chair for about five minutes, iPhone at the ready, to get this video. The iPhone video camera wasn't fast enough for the hummingbird's wings, so it looks kind of like a CGI hummingbird! I wanted to find out more about what kind of hummingbird this was, so I was able to stop the video to identify it.

Bonaire is a small island that is part of the Netherland Antilles, located just 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Only two species of hummingbirds are on Bonaire. The largest, seen in the video, is the Ruby Topaz, (Chrysolampis mosquitus) with rufous on the tail of both adults and a male with a splendid, fiery-red gorget and glistening orange-red crown. The other is the smaller, Common Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus), which can be found at many sites where flowers are conspicuous, but neither come readily to hummingbird feeders.

Here are some still shots taken from the video.