After every feeding session or fight with the rest of the hummingbirds, this young Ruby would make a returned visit back to this Bluebird Clematis. It was about 6 feet to the left of where I typically sat. I managed several decent photos of him, some perching and some feeding from the few late season blooms. He found enough value in these flowers to continue returning. In Spring-time, the newly arrived males also found value in this plant. It produced an abundance of flowers, almost to the point that the foliage was covered. This is the kind of target that attracts hummingbirds from long distances away, and contains enough flowers in Spring to keep a hummingbird's attention for a substantial amount of time. Clematises aren't typically high on the list for hummingbirds, but this particular one has proven effective. After seeing how well it attracted hummingbirds, I have taken cuttings and produced another dozen of them to spread out around the garden.
This young male Ruby-throat wasn't yet into the grown-up food, but he certainly was a messy little eater in the flowers, which isn't uncommon for young hummingbirds.
The image of the blooming Bluebird Clematis was taken in May. It is an early Spring bloomer with a smaller bloom later in the season. I like to have favorite hummingbird plants that bloom in succession throughout the hummingbird season. As one finishes, another will take over in the garden. The best times to have these big bloomers are during the month of their arrival from the South, and then again for the time the young leave the nest until the time they head back South. The stagnant nesting period is a bit less important as the adult female birds will typically use feeders to get their large dose of nectar within a short time and then get back to the nest quickly. During this time, the males will still scout out their options, not missing a single bloom that appears in their territory.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Juvenile Male Ruby-throat hummingbird. August 2017
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