[CT Birds] Hummer question....

Brian Webster b.webster at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 13 12:16:52 EDT 2009

Does anyone know if a Sharpie permanent marker is a bad idea to use to darken the red on one of my hummer feeders?
The florets are red, but sun has bleached them very much.  Just 10 minutes ago I had 4 or 5 zooming in and around the yard, and really noticed one bully.... in the most classic sense of the word.  It almost seems as if he is trying to impale any 'intruders' with his bill.
They only use 2 of my 3 feeders, along with a bunch of live flowers (2 salvia species, phlox, gladiolus, hibiscus, sometimes fuschia).  The one un-used feeder is the one with the dull florets.  I have a red Sharpie, and I wanted to make sure it would be OK to use that to darken the red on the florets... instead of buying a new feeder or trying to find replacement florets for this feeder.
I want to try and balance off this one hummers aggresion (it's a juv. male) with having as many spots for them to choose as possible.  However, I must say it is quite funny to watch this guy perching in a near-by oak, waiting to dive bomb anyone going to 'his' feeder.  At one point there was a conga-line of 4 chirping and zipping around after each other.  One adult male challenged the jerk juv. male and they flew straight up into the sky so high that they looked like mosquitoes.... eventually they both broke off in different directions.
Another hummer related question.....  are they afraid (lack of a better word) of bees??  Or are the hesitant to visit a feeder/flower with a bee on it?  I watched a very nice looking juvenile male going to every bloom on a sativa plant... all the while I could see he had his eye on a wasp below him.  A few times he was clearly watchign the wasp and hovering back and forth around him, somewhat hesitant to dive back in.
-Brian Webster-
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