Hummingbird Wars Vs Cats In The Garden Again

Hummingbird Wars vs Cats In The Garden Again?  You may know how territorial hummingbirds are, chasing one another away from various food sources, and real estate on trees, shrubs and flowers in endless Hummingbird Wars.  Goodness knows, I have written about it several times…Here and Here.  I have also written about my Cats in the Garden vs Hummingbird Wars and my cats’ fascination with stalking birdies, including hummingbirds.  Zoe, being the chief culprit has caught several.  My job has been keeping hummingbirds safe and keeping Zoe and her sidekick in crime, Raja from harming them.  

Rufous Hummingbird On Crocosmia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a Rufous Hummingbird on the Crocosmia Lucifer.  Otherwise, we have a huge crop of baby Anna’s Hummingbirds, who are so tiny and so clueless to the dangers of the cats.  I have seen them come down and hover Very close to the cats until I chase them away. Where is Mama?

Hummingbird Mosaic

The full cast of hummingbirds in our garden.  The first image is of an Anna’s Hummingbird, the second of a Rufous Hummingbird and then we have a Rufous feeding on the Crocosmia and an Anna’s at the feeder.  This year we have seen only a few Rufous, but tons and tons of Anna’s and especially the baby Anna’s that seem to be hanging out in our dogwood tree.

Fence Around Crocosmia

Some of the folding fencing that we have put around the Crocosmia Lucifer to prevent the kitties from getting too close to the hummers as they feed on flowers of their favorite color – Red.  This has been pretty effective, but doesn’t prevent them from hanging out and hoping.  I chase them away when I see them there.

Crocosmia And Zoe

This is Zoe hanging out beneath the Crocosmia, and she can’t get too close, but she is hopeful and hangs out anyway.  Gratefully, she has not caught any hummers this year that we know of.  I intend to keep it that way.

Cape Fuschia With Raja

See this sweet little innocent looking Raja amid the Cape Fuschia?  Not so innocent!

Hummingbird Feeder

In reality, he is just underneath this Hummingbird Feeder.  And the Cape Fuschia, another Hummingbird favorite is at eye level.

Cape Fuschia And Screen

This is the screen I made from the folding fencing and Contorted Filbert branches that I had pruned off a tree hanging into my back yard.  I really liked the look.  It is at least a partial barrier to kitties rushing through the Cape Fuschia to get at the hummers.

Raja Under Hummingbird Feeder

To get the full impact of Raja’s guilty intent….He is sitting on a bench near the hummingbird feeder, the same Cape Fuschia is hanging in mid-air, only a little higher than his head.  In the meantime, totally clueless baby Anna’s Hummingbirds are coming down to feed on the Cape Fuschias.  The Anna’s will chase each other away from the Cape Fuschias and the Crocosmia, but they are oblivious to the cat, other than to let out some scolding chirps.  I have seen them about a foot and a half away from his head.  You see my problem?

My temporary solution is that I put a green stake into the ground and tied up the drooping Cape Fuschia so they are not within reach of the cats. (They are really tall this year.)  A more semi-permanent solution is to get more of the folding fencing from the hardware store to make a better barrier to this area of the garden.  I could move that feeder, but I doubt it would have any effect as that dogwood tree is where All the adult and baby Anna’s Hummingbirds hang out.  I see or hear two or three at any one time.  I am trying to keep the hummers reasonably safer, given my kitties love the garden too, but they need to get a clue.

What have you done to keep cats and other pets away from wildlife, short of locking them in the house?  (which is tempting at times.)

 

57 Replies to “Hummingbird Wars Vs Cats In The Garden Again”

  1. Purchase Cheyenne Pepper and sprinkle the areas that you do not want your cat near. We have hummingbirds yr. round at our home. They are so use to us and the dog out side with us. I was washing my hands with the garden hose; not sure if the hummingbird wanted to play in the water. He flew right by me and just hovered by my face area, I just kept talking to him. Then he flew up to the tree. I talk to my birds, I am not nuts, they get use to our voices and are not afraid to be in the yard with us. I have one bird I call pertty bird, and I say ” pertty bird” and he sings back to me over and over. this bird has been doing this for a couple yrs. A regular to our garden. Thanks for the fun pictures.

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  2. Linda,

    I love your experience with the hummers. Your story with the hose is funny. I can’t wear red into the garden because I will always have a hummer checking me out. They are so funny. I know about using cayenne pepper, but don’t use it because there is a small risk of harm to the cats if it got into their eyes. That worries me.

    Yael

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  3. My cat is always under whatever red flowers are currently in bloom, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting hummingbird. Sigh. I love cats and I love birds and finding a balance is so difficult! Thank you for popping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.

    xox

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    1. Anne,

      Kitties sure know where to hang out, don’t they? Finding the right balance between keeping hummers safe and kitties enjoying their lives is the challenge. Thanks for coming by yourself. Hoping that you have a good week.

      Yael

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  4. We have a lot of hummingbirds…I never realized they were territorial! What an interesting fact. I like watching them fly in tandem with the sprinkler trying to drink the drops before they hit the ground… or they fly afterward and drink drop by drop off the plants. Not enough rain here!

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    1. Andrea,

      Thanks for coming by. Hummingbirds are very interesting to watch, as you have noted. I really love them myself. Hoping that you get some needed rain soon.

      Yael

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    1. Lisa,

      Thanks and thanks for coming by. I seem to take almost as many pictures of hummingbirds as I do of my cats.

      Yael

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    1. Nancy,

      Thanks for coming by. I would imagine that having 5 cats would be a challenge to keep from the birds. My 3 are challenge enough. Thanks for hostessing your great blog party.

      Yael

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  5. I love the photo of the hummer and the crocosmia… my latest attempt at crocosmia are just coming into bloom (Lucifer hasn’t been hardy for me in the past) and I’ll have to observe to see if the hummingbirds are still around here… we see them so seldom… enjoyed your post… Larry

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    1. Hi Larry.

      My crocosmia are all in bloom now. And I just remembered that many of them are shorties, and too many to protect from the kitties. Goodness me. Thanks for coming by. I really love your gardens.

      Yael

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  6. Wow the closest I get to a hummingbird is one zooming in to quickly visit a hanging basket on the front porch. This was so interesting!

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    1. Debra,

      They are often zipping around too quickly to see much less photograph. I’m lucky in that I have a feeder right outside my living room window, where if I have my camera ready, I can get a picture. Thanks for coming by and for your comment.

      Yael

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    1. Thanks for coming by. I know my kitties are sneaky. They do find ways of doing just what they want to do. Hope that the fence keeps them out.

      Yael

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  7. Hi Yael: Love the stalking cat pictures! And love the hummers. Glad that you are there to keep the birds safe and the cats foiled! And now that you mention it, I am seeing that your blog is displaying a little bit weird. I am looking at it in Chrome, so perhaps the browser one uses makes a difference? Take care, and have a great weekend–supposed to be quite warm here!

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    1. Athena,

      Thanks. At least I’m trying to keep the cats foiled. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but all of my short crocosmia is blooming as well. And That will be nearly impossible to keep them out of. What’s a girl to do short of lots more fencing. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I will make it to the hardware store before I go to So Cal.

      Thanks for letting me know that you are seeing the weird display too. I asked a techie guy on one of my forums and he had a possible plan of action for me to fix it, but that too may have to wait a few days.

      Hope you have a great weekend as well. I know it is supposed to be up to 90-ish down here in Salem. Try to stay cool.

      Yael

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  8. Around my house, hummingbirds are seldom seen, but I get so excited when one appears. They move so fast you cat just might have a hard time catching one!

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    1. Lulu,

      I love seeing my hummers. In my previous home we didn’t have nearly as many as we do here. It is such a treat.

      Yael

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    1. Donna,

      Thanks. I love my hummers. Raja is really a sweetie when he is not hiding in wait for hummers.

      Yael

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  9. My crocosmia is also blooming but with this heat, I have not seen the hummers…those cute but naughty kitties are resourceful. What we do for our precious wildlife and pets. I will have to plant more crocosmia closer to the house. Love the pictures.

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    1. Donna,

      Thanks for coming by. Yes, indeed kitties are resourceful, scamps that they are. We do our best to keep them away from the birds, but don’t always manage. Moles and voles are a different story….

      Yael

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  10. Enjoyed your post. Hummers certainly are special visitors to the garden. We don’t have a war with cats and hummers here. Always struggling with bunnies who want to eat the tender flowers!

    Visiting from Share Your Cup Thursday.
    Debra

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    1. Debra,
      Thanks for coming by. I rarely see bunnies, but did suspect them of nipping off some beans last year. One way or another, we are struggling with various wildlife or pets.

      Yael

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  11. Yael, your photos are really lovely! The hummers like my garden too. A favorite of theirs that blooms most of the season is honeysuckle. I also put out nectar, however, given the heat it evaporates rapidly and even ferments. Therefore, I decided to bring it in and let them just feed on the flowers.

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    1. Beth,

      Thanks. I just planted honeysuckle this year and it has started blooming. I haven’t seen any hummers there yet, but believe I will. I too am having to set out nectar frequently (daily) for the same reasons. We are still doing it, but have considered not, since there is so much else for the hummers to feed on.

      Yael

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    1. Katherine,

      Yes, they do stalk birdies and voles and even each other. Very fun to watch. Not so much fun if they catch a bird. Hoping that you also have a great weekend.

      Yael

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  12. Oh those little hummers are so tempting to those kittys. We no longer have cats, but I use to quit filling my bird feeder because I felt like I was bringing them in for the kill. I had a beautiful hummer on my red Canna Lily today, but could not get out there fast enough with the camera. You are doing a good job of trying to keep those cute little birds safe. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Jann,

      Those kitties are rascals for sure. We have contemplated not feeding the birds, but can’t quite bring ourselves to do so. Somehow feeling an obligation to keep them fed, never mind there are other yards that feed them. Too bad you missed getting that picture of the hummer. They are so fast. Of course if you are wearing red, they will come to you. 🙂

      Yael

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    1. A shame you don’t have many hummers. They are fun to watch. Thank you for coming by and have a great weekend.

      Yael

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    1. Autumn Belle,

      Thanks for coming by. Raja is, indeed, very adept at hiding from the birds and finding places to stay unseen. Hoping that you have a wonderful week.

      Yael

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  13. Bells on their collars are the best advice I can give. I do lock my dog in the house though when he stresses the frogs at the pond too much.
    I’m sure you’ll glean some ideas from the comments.
    Judith

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    1. Judith,

      Thanks. Bells on collars…check. The little stinkers still manage to sneak up even with bells. Sometimes I do bring them in or take them to a different part of the yard when they are too much. Doing the best I can. Thanks for coming by. I appreciate all comments and ideas.

      Yael

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  14. Hi Yael, The crocosmia is so beautiful; I think I need some in my garden! I enjoy the hummers so much. We have honeysuckle that blooms the entire gardening season and they love that. I also notice them on the verbena bonariensis. I have a feeder up too and they enjoy that. I’m all for encouraging hummingbirds to be a part of my garden!

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    1. Beth I do like crocosmia. I have bith red and orange. The hummers like them all. The one in these pictures is lucifer and it gets really big. Others I have are about 18″. I just planted a new honeysuckle this year. I don’t have a lot of flowers yet, but I have noticed hummingbirds going after them.

      Yael

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    1. Rosemary,

      Thanks. And thanks for coming by. I love both my kitties and the hummingbirds. Glad you could join me this week.

      Yael

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    1. Thanks for coming by. And thanks for your lovely comment. I enjoy my garden, kitties and the hummers.

      Yael

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  15. Loved your story! We don’t have cats so haven’t had that experience. I’m not familiar with the Crocosmia Lucifer, but I love red flowers, and this one is beautiful. Popped over from Bloomin’ Tuesday.

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    1. Deb,

      I love red flowers too, and so do the hummers. Crocosmia Lucifer is very big, about 4 ft+, compared to the 12-18″ of my other crocosmia. Thanks for coming by.

      Yael

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