Lately it seems like everywhere I go folks are talking about how many hummingbirds are visiting their backyard feeders. Indeed, it seems there is no shortage of these small, flying dynamos invading Georgia backyards this summer. With that in mind, most hummingbird fanciers would like to know how many hummingbirds they are feeding.
Several years ago, an Arizona hummingbird fancier named Stephen Russell came up with a novel way to estimate the numbers of hummingbirds feeding in his backyard. This technique is based on the amount of hummingbird food the birds consume. Here is how it works.
I will not go into all of the calculations he used to determine how many birds a gallon of hummingbird food mixed at a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water will feed. Suffice it to say he determined that a quart of hummingbird nectar will feed 137.25 birds.
Therefore, if you know how much food disappears from your feeders in a day’s time, you can easily calculate how many birds you are feeding. For example, if the birds consume a pint of nectar in a day, your are feeding roughly 68 hummers.
If you try this technique, let me know what you think of the estimate obtained using the Russell formula.