Aug 16-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: August: Aug 16-05
Eleven with one shot    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Joyce Tormala
Dueling hummers    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Joyce Tormala

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 05:42 am:

Photographing birds takes the patience of a saint, so looking at these shots from Joyce Tormala, I guess we should assume she is one, especially when you find out her secret for capturing these flitting birds on film! She counted eleven hummingbirds in the top photo, which totally amazes me, since we have a feeder out and have never attracted more than two at a time, maybe they're more abundant in Toivola! When there have been two at once, they usually ended up in a duel, like the pair in the second shot. They almost look like their each waiting for the other to make the first move! OK, now for the lowdown on how Joyce accomplishes capturing images like this in her own backyard, she says: "It is hard to 'freeze' these busy little birdies while standing on a ladder in the rain, without a tripod. Fun, though!" Sure hope she's careful up there! :->

By Former Fulton Resident (Dashamo) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 05:49 am:

Amazing pics, Joyce!!! Could there possibly be some "trick photography" involved here?!!! LOL

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 06:36 am:

Brings to mind a sight we saw earlier in the season, in Ruth Beljan's back yard:

Three Bears

Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge (Leslie) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 06:47 am:

What wonderful photos!
The trio in Ruth's back yard would surely open your eyes first thing in the morning!

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:33 am:

Just seeing that many hummers is incredible, getting a photo of them is truly awesome! Doing it on a ladder in the rain is inspiring. Thanks so much.

By Pauline (Yooperinpa) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:34 am:

I love the pics! Can't imagine bears in my backyard though. I've never seen so many birds on one feeder. Be careful when taking the pictures.

By Keith in Kansas (Keithinks) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:49 am:

Awesome shots Joyce!!! Do you mind sharing what size lens you captured them with?

By Stephanie Weisbrodt (Stefani13) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:52 am:

Bears, hummingbirds, thimbleberries, pasties...I'm so homesick it hurts!!!

17 more days....

By dlp (Babyseal) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:55 am:

Awesome pictures Joyce. Now I know why the hummingbirds from my yard disappeared, they went to yours!!!

By Sue (Sussu) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:59 am:

Great pictures Joyce. We never get more than one hummer at a time at our feeder as they chase each other away. I never even knew they chirped until one started standing guard.

By Sunrise Side MI (Ilovelucy2) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:25 am:

Good Morning all,
Joyce , your pictures are beautiful. We have lots of hummers here this year. I think I have gone through 15# of sugar. They are so enjoyable to watch. We have a feeder at the porch that is guarded by the male. Won't let anybody there. All the females are fighting over the oriole feeder. We will miss them when the go. Of course we will leave our feeders out for yours when they return south. Have a Beautiful Day all!!!!

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:31 am:

Wow now thats an incredible number in one place.

My favorite about them is the sound they make when they dart out of the trees down over my head on our deck to our feeders.

we just returend from 2 weeks of kayaking and camping around the UP.

Photos are up here:

By Dave R. (Shutterbug) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:32 am:

And the rest of the story is, (as Paul Harvey would say) the hummingbirds, nasty little creatures that they are, ganged up on the bears and sent them packing. The three bears, now being in a foul mood, went home and beat up Goldilocks.

And now you know the rest of the story! ;>)

Thanks for the GREAT pictures guys!

By Dennis Bachorik (Dbachorik) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:36 am:

It's a fun way to start the day by looking at these photos.

By NKR (Nkr) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:02 am:

Good morning from Mishawaka IN. Great pictures this morning. Humming Birds are fascinating. They sound like big bumble bees to me and I can't even begin to imagine finding 3 bears in my back yard. Bob Gilreath, I just toured your album. Looks like you had a great vacation. Thanks for sharing.

By Mike R New Berlin WI (Miker) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:05 am:

Bobg. You found the West Branch State Park North of Ralph. That's 1 mile South of my hunting camp, the Vista Lodge. Pretty remote. Nice pictures.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:43 am:

Joyce, Great shots (as usual) of the hummingbirds. Hope you were careful on that later ;) Sharon said that the hummingbirds have been busy eating for their migration.

Bobg: Love the pics of your kayaking/camping trip. You sound like my hubby when it comes to packing all his tools in the front compartment of the camper...puts the tool dept. of Sears to shame. Now if my hubby would have come upon you fixing the flat on your camper, he would have pulled out his super duper jack. C'mon admit guys love playing with all those tools and salavate at a reason to use them.

Shutterbug: Loved the story. Now why wasn't it written that way to begin with? :)

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:47 am:

Slept in some this morning,stold a cup of coffee from the pot while it was still driping and went on the deck to watch the hummingbirds,came in to check Pasty Cam and Wahla eh? Our company from Clinton Tsp.MI.and Windsor,Ontario sadly had to return home.One of the things that gave them entertainment was watching Hummingbirds at my feeder chasing each other,and checking us out.The deck is higher then the feeder so I got some fine pictures using a Sony digital Mavica.But not like yours Joyce!Great capture!!

By Victoria (Mumbarko) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 10:16 am:

I've had about four at one time, but 11 is amazing! I never knew that they made any noise till these four showed up and started "yelling" at each other. The fight about who gets to eat from the feeder goes on all day. We've seen one male with his pretty ruby throat and he sits on our other feeder and gaurds.

By Melissa (Melissa5876) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 10:30 am:

Excellent hummingbird photos, Joyce!

By Rosemary LeVeque (Leveque99) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 11:10 am:

Great Pics!!

We live on the Pepin Rd in Calumet and we counted 10 hummingbirds at our feeders yesterday. We put up two more feeders to accomodate all of them. Previous years we had only one or two for the summer. WE LOVE TO Watch Them!!

Awesome Pics, Joyce!!

By Peter Tormala (Ptorms) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 11:26 am:

Nice shots Joyce, hopefully I will make it home before the hummers head south for the winter.

By PAUL M CHRISTENSEN (Pungvait) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 11:40 am:

hummingbird feeder $7.95
sugar and water .45
joyce's photography-priceless

By dlp (Babyseal) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 11:53 am:

Do you use a special formula in the hummingbird feeder that attracts 11 birds? If so, will you share the recipe?
I have tried making the mixture and I have bought a mixture. What's the secret?

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 12:05 pm:

in case anyone hasn't discovered it yet, there is a new feature on the MTU webcams.


really cool views of an entire day.

check them out here:

By Charlotte, Mishawaka, IN (Charlotte61) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 12:51 pm:

Joyce, Great pictures of the hummers. I've never had more than 3 at my feeder and then they dive bomb each other.
Bob G.--Great vacation pictures. We visited the Two Hearted River in July. Crossing the bridge was a real job for me as I have a fear of things which you can see through. Hubby walked in front so I could keep my hand on his shoulder and look at his back. Made it both ways. I am trying to get over this problem as I miss some great views from lighthouses because of it.

By T.L. Longpre (Echo) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 02:09 pm:

Absolutely amazing, Joyce! I want your secret recipe!

As far as I can see, there's only one male in the bunch - who knew hummingbirds kept harems?!


By Beverly Camp (Upmama) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 04:00 pm:

To make hummingbird nectar: 1 part sugar to 4 parts water (e.g. 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water). Stir to dissolve. They sure are fun to watch!

By Anna Roehrich (Updreamer) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 05:10 pm:

Great pictures! The last time I saw a hummingbird, was looking out the window of the Harbor Haus as we ate dinner...sauerbraten if I remember correctly...what I wouldn't give to be there right now!

By tom ghering (Tomgheringtcmi) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 05:26 pm:

is that cane sugar or beet sugar? does it really matter?

By paula weed (Pweed) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 06:16 pm:

That's a lot of hummers!!! Nice pic!!

By Julie Beck (Jbeck) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:36 pm:

When making hummingbird food it is helpful to boil the mix so that the sugar stays in solution and doesn't get grainy with time. I boil mine for about a minute, stirring constantly and then you must let it cool. The first batch of the season I do a 1 to 3 ratio and then after that 1 to 4. Don't forget that they must go south for the winter and should not be fed too late into the season as they will certainly freeze.

By Victoria (Mumbarko) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:43 pm:

I've heard not to use beet sugar... only cane sugar. I guess the beet isn't good for them.

By J.T. Toivola (Joyce) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 07:48 pm:

It seems the hummers are extremely active (and vicious) when the weather is cool and damp. I wonder how many are injured when they knock each other off course in the race to the food source. They put on quite a show.The chirping,beak-bashing and the sound of their wings is incredible.What a breeze!
The next time I am hummer-hunting,I will mount the camera to a tripod.I used several different settings on the camera. Some were too dark,others too light. Many were deleted immediately. It is a challenge because these birdies are always in motion. These were taken at a close range and I don't believe I zoomed in much at all. They were really agressive and paid no attention to me. I have the patience to stand on a ladder,in the rain,till the birds disappear for their afternoon nap,but standing on a solid floor,waiting in line (anywhere!) for ten minutes drives me absolutely bonkers. That's what we have to do,though,when we run out of bird seed and sugar. Cane sugar is recommended. As mentioned above, add 1 part sugar to 4 parts water and boil till dissolved. Let cool,needless to say.
Thank you for the comments! I will try to catch the in-flight fights and if I have any luck I will send them to the gallery.
I am repeating myself when I say this is a super site,but I don't care!! Many appreciate the hard work,dedication and occasional headache involved in maintaining such a great place. Great history,photos and chit-chat,all day,every day! Thanks,folks!

By Alex J. Tiensivu (Ajtiensivu) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:29 pm:

WHAT impressive shots! I can't get over them. Do we smell a WOW, or is it just me?!?! Really awesome... All three of them!

By Allen Chartier (Amazilia) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:38 pm:


Great photos!

I know people who use beet sugar and others who use cane sugar. Either works fine for hummingbirds, but there is a taste difference. I understand that sometimes hummingbirds don't like the beet sugar, but the ones in my yard (way down here in Wayne County) are happy with it.

Regarding feeding the birds too late into the season, it is impossible to force them to stay later than they normally would. There are plenty of myths about hummingbirds, and this is one of them. It is well known that their migrations are genetically programmed, and they make the entire round-trip solo (they do not flock in migration, only at food sources). A good rule of thumb is to leave your feeder up about a week or ten days after you see your last hummingbird, to provide for any stragglers that may be moving through. Last fall, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed up in Grand Marais on October 30, and lingered till November 3, the latest ever for the UP, and about the fourth latest ever for the entire state.

Allen Chartier
Project Director
Great Lakes HummerNet

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 10:47 pm:

Here's the Recipe for hummingbird feeders from
Read on through the above reference for more.

Note where it says "Use one part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water." You will also find some further discussion of beet and other sugars in that document.

Note also (further on) where it says:
"Please, do not put honey, Jell-O, brown sugar, fruit, or red food coloring in your feeder!"

By J.T. Toivola (Joyce) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 12:07 am:

Thanks for the interesting information. My neighbors have used beet sugar for years and their feeders are filled twice,sometimes 3 times a day. I bring the cane sugar syrup to a boil because "they say" that's what you gotta do! It took a few years before the hummers started swarming around my feeder. I guess they are here to stay and I am their slave for a few more weeks.
I was worried the neighbor's birds would move to our feeder when I first hung it out. Not so!
I've seen deer at the seed feeders,but no bears...yet. Great shot!

By T.L. Longpre (Echo) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 10:42 am:

There's a simple solution to the whole "how to make hummer food" debate: hummingbird food is easily found pre-made and bottled at Wal-Mart. My hummers love it.


By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 12:08 pm:

T.L. Longpre (Echo):
"There's a simple solution to the whole "how to make hummer food" debate: hummingbird food is easily found pre-made and bottled at Wal-Mart."

Except I'm willing to bet that the pre-made and bottled hummingbird food contains the evil red food coloring! See my post above, and the link therein.

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