Garden Club: Supporting a Hummingbird

The Garden Club met on Monday, February 15. Consistent with the long established tradition, the Hospitality group provided a varied menu of sandwiches, cheese and crackers, cut up fruit and an assortment of small pastries and cookies. Our thanks to Carmen Murphy, Carolyn Brase, Ann Strauss, Barbara Milner, Marilyn Moon, Margaret Brugger, Bob Borland, Nadine Allen and Grace Glatt for the lunch.
Our guest speaker was Monique Rae, from San Juan Capistrano, who is an avid bird lover and helps in rescuing birds. She has now found her true love in looking after the well being of our hummingbirds. She provided a spectacular slide presentation with beautiful photographs of hummingbirds, their nests and the care the mothers take of the young hatchlings.
These birds are native to North, Central and South America. Their lifespan can be 10 years but they live on an average, from three to five years. Their resting heart rate is 500 bpm, compared to 72 for us. They can fly non-stop across the Rio Grande, a distance of 500 miles!
Their heart beat when flying goes up to 1250 bpm! They normally hatch two eggs at a time and their breeding season tends to be the winter months. In order to feed their young ones, they visit 1000 to 2000 flowers a day, and each flower 2 to 3 times in a day. To support a hummingbird in your garden, you would need between 400 and 1000 flowers. Your water feeder should contain 1 part granulated white sugar and 4 parts water. It is a good idea to bring the mixture to a simmer, before filling the feeder. Good luck and hope you can provide a safe refuge for the extra-ordinary birds.
We added five new members.
Welcome, Lydia and Richard Reese, Tom and Pam O’Keefe, and Laurel Livesay.
We have a field trip to the Food and Farm Lab at the Great Park in Irvine on March 21. We will be carpooling and leaving from the club house around 11:15 a.m.
And finally, what do you call a grumpy and short tempered gardener? A snap dragon!

—Laks Sehgal

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