Jun 22, 2009
Hummingbird 383c Color Portable Fish Finder
The 383c Color Portable Hummingbird Fish Finder
Fish Finder and GPS Chartplotter is
an all-in-one fish finder for the recreational angler that offers
incredible ease of use and GPS chartplotting. The 383c is compact, but
full of already built-in capabilities, with the ability to add advanced
accessories, making it the perfect companion for your fishing outings.
383c Portable provides full GPS navigation, chartplotting and sonar
right out of the box. This unit has a built-in 16-channel WAAS GPS
receiver, and a four nautical-mile resolution UniMap of USA inland
lakes, rivers and coastal areas. The 383c uses DualBeam PLUS sonar,
selectable between 20- and 60-degree beams, or simultaneous operation
to deliver both wide coverage and better bottom definition up to 1,000
feet with a target separation of only 2.5 inches. This fish finder
includes real-time sonar at up to 40 times per second, and Sonar Echo
Enhancement sensitive enough to track a jig to over 40 feet.
Hummingbird 383c Color Portable Fish Finder has
a 3.5-inch, 256-color, sunlight viewable TFT LCD screen that sports 320
x 240 lines of resolution, and includes X-Press menus so you can access
the most important controls with fewer button presses. This fish finder
lets you select between TruArch for actual fish returns, and FishID+
with a selective target depth. It features a 2x, 4x, 6x and 8x
zoom, fresh and saltwater set-up options for optimal performance in any
environment, and an adjustable backlight for night fishing. With 750
waypoints, 20 routes, and 10 tracks with 2,000 points each, it is
difficult to find a more complete system.
The Hummingbird 383c is
designed to go anywhere, with a rugged soft-sided bag with a durable
internal structure and carrying handle, and convenient zippered storage
pockets for your battery, charger, and transducer. This portable
transducer also includes a 12-volt battery with smart charger, a
non-skid water-resistant bottom, and a quick-disconnect mount system.
This unit measures 5.25 x 7.4 x 4 inches (WxHxD), and comes with a
suction-cup mount transducer that easily mounts on most smooth hulls.
Posted at 10:52 am by hummingbirdy
May 29, 2009
Maintaining a hummingbird feeder can help provide the birds
with nectar critical to their survival, especially during the fall when
they need to double their body mass before migration. Follow these steps to ensure your yard is
a safe and nutritious stopover for hummingbirds:
- Browse your local birding listservs to find out when the first
hummingbirds sightings occur each spring, and aim to have your feeders
up a couple of weeks before that. In the fall, keep your feeders up for
two weeks after you see the last bird using it.
- Instead of one large feeder, hang several smaller ones in different
locations. Keep the feeders far enough apart that the hummers cannot
see one another; this will prevent one bird from dominating the rest.
- Hang your feeders in the shade to discourage fermentation and spoilage of the sugar solution.
- Be sure to change the sugar water regularly - before it gets cloudy, or about twice a week in warm weather.
- Clean the feeders with a solution of one part white vinegar to
four parts water about once a week. If your feeder has become dirty,
try adding some grains of dry rice to the vinegar solution and shake
vigorously. The grains act as a good abrasive. Rinse your feeder well
with warm water three times before refilling with sugar solution.
- Fill the feeders with sugar water, made by combining four
parts hot water to one part white sugar, boiled for one to two minutes.
NEVER use honey, which promotes the growth of harmful bacteria, or artificial sweeteners. Also avoid red food coloring.
Posted at 12:40 pm by hummingbirdy
May 17, 2009
The Food Of The Hummingbirds
The hummingbirds live to eat and eat to live. Those birds eat like crazy. Few creatures exist so precisely at the edge of what could be starvation. Yet hummingbirds are protected by incredible adaptations that allow their tiny bodies to survive.
Hummingbird food is a pure source of sugar produced by flowers which is called nectar. Hummingbirds usually gather liquid nectars from deep inside long tubular flowers. There is no richer food source and the hummingbird is dependent upon that very richness.
When hummingbirds gather nectar from flowers, they will not take the nectar if it has less than 12% sweetness. The sweetness is high or low depending on what kind of flower and how long the nectar has been allowed to accumulate. This means that hummingbird food (liquid nectar) is even sweeter than some Coca Cola. The average sugar concentration is 20-25% in 200 of the favorite flowers that hummingbirds like to frequent.
A heavier concentration of sugar allows the hummingbird to visit fewer flowers. Every time a hummingbird hovers in front of a flower, it uses energy to gather food. It must gather more than it expends to hover and to live throughout the day. The numbers are staggering. In an average 12 hour day, a 10-gram hummingbird such as the male Anna's hummingbird will need 6,660 calories to live. More than 1/3 of that amount is spent hovering to gather food.
One source said that the above Anna's would need to visit over 1,000 flowers to feed itself every day. A second source documented a real hummingbird that probed over 1,300 flowers in ½ a day. A third source claimed a hummingbird will visit 2,000-3,000 flowers per day depending on whether other nectar-gathering insects or birds have depleted the flowers' potency. Measured against the weight of the bird, that is quote a LOT! of hummingbird nectar.
Fortunately, a hummingbird does not consume the flower itself so they can come back to feed again as soon as the flower has made more nectar. In some ways they are cultivators and conservationists and remember which flowers have already been harvested. Hummingbirds also eat insects. This is called "gleaning," "gnatting" and "hawking." Hawking looks like aerial acrobatics made of erratic twists, stops and whirls as they chase invisible bugs.
By invisible I mean that our air is full of life sustaining creatures that feed the hummingbirds and songbirds. In the Midwest, probably above an open field, a sample was taken of one square mile of summer air. Entomologists measured from the ground up to 100 feet high and counted everything. If you are a Midwesterner, then you know there are "peak" insect hours – in the evening when they rise up. During this time the airborne midge population approaches about a hundred million.
All of this is potential songbird and hummingbird food. We need to rethink the consequence to the food chain when we mass-spray insecticides to kill mosquitoes.10 Dragonflies are called mosquito hawks.1 Everything is interdependent.
Some hummingbirds in Costa Rica survive several months of dry season by eating bugs. Anna's, rufous, broad-tailed and ruby-throated hummingbirds also eat tree sap to supplement their diet. They have access to the sap by visiting the holes made by sapsuckers. The ruby-throated hummingbird is dependent on the yellow-bellied sapsucker to provide his food during it's annual migration.
Nectars are digested and pass through the hummingbird system in as little time as 10 minutes,12 though accounts vary dramatically from 4 minutes to one hour. One observation showed that nectar was held in the crop for as long as 30-40 minutes before it was passed into the stomach and this may account for different points of view. All sources agree it is feasible and necessary for the hummingbird to have immediate energy released into it's system.
Their ability to metabolize nectar is efficient. Nearly 97% of the nectar turns into usable fuel – perhaps the highest use-ratio of any food by any animal!
Fast and efficient, the hummingbird lives moment to moment on the food it gathers. A hummingbird MUST eat to live but within a narrow margin of survival, there is infinite adaptation, grace and abundance.
Posted at 02:56 pm by hummingbirdy
May 10, 2009
How To Choose A Hummingbird Feeder
Here are some of the more impotant features to look for when choosing hummingbird feeders.
1. Bee guards: The most attractive color to bees and wasps is yellow. Newer model feeders from most manufacturers no longer have yellow parts. Look for hummingbird feeders that claim on their packaging that their shape discourages bees from reaching the nectar (usually found with saucer-shaped styles).
2. Built in perches: Hummingbirds prefer to sit when they feed if they are able to do so.
3. Size of feeder: The smaller the better, until you determine how heavy the hummingbird usage is.
4. Ease of cleaning: There should be no little nooks and crannies in the feeder for mold to lurk in. A dishrag, a small bottle brush (an old, clean toothbrush is wonderful!), and a clean pipe cleaner should be sufficient tools for cleaning. Also very helpful are the tiny brushes specifically marketed for cleaning hummingbird feeder ports.
5. Ease and cleanliness: of use Look for feeders that do not require excessive twisting or snapping to be put together; this reduces the chance of sloshing sticky sugar water all over the feeder. (And your countertop, your shoes, your kitchen floor etc.)
6. Color: The most attractive color to hummingbirds is red. Look for red in the feeder itself rather than relying on dye to color the sugar solution. Hummingbirds are very inquisitive and even just a little bit of red on the feeder itself is quite sufficient. (See below for more on red dye.)
7. Ant protection: Built in ant moats (check the feeder's packaging) or add-on ant moats solve most of the ants-at/in-the-feeder problem.
8. Rain guard: Some hummingbird feeders with their feeding ports located on top of the solution reservoir may allow rain water to get into the feeder and dilute (and possibly contaminate) the sugar solution. Check the feeder packaging to see if a particular model is designed to limit this problem. There are also "rain guards" available, metal or plastic disks meant to hang above a feeder, marketed specifically for hummingbird feeders.
9. Wind resistance: Feeders hung in very windy locations may spill and make quite a mess doing so; at least one manufacturer is making a saucer style feeder that can be pole-mounted.
Posted at 10:48 am by hummingbirdy
Apr 27, 2009
Bee balm, hibiscus, trumpet honeysuckle, hollyhock, clematis, impatiens, phlox and fuchsias are some of the common flowers that will attract hummingbirds to your garden. But hanging a hummingbird feeder where you can easily see it is probably the best way to observe the hummingbirds in action.
Hummingbird Nectar Food Recipe
1 part sugar/4 parts water
Boil the water, measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.
Let it cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.
Do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener, which has no nutritional value.
You need to clean your feeder about once a week. According to the National Audubon Society, this should be done by rinsing with one part white vinegar to four parts water. If the feeder is dirty, try adding a few grains of dry rice to the vinegar solution to help scrub it clean. Follow the vinegar wash by rinsing three times with clear, warm water before refilling with sugar solution.
The wing beat rate of hummingbirds varies by species, with the common Ruby-Throated Hummingbird averaging a wing beat of about 53 per second, seen by the human eye as a blur. The wings move in a figure eight pattern to produce the gravity-defying hover effect for which hummers are famous. The energy needs of this little bird are amazing - they must feed every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day, consuming up to two thirds of their body weight in food. An important part of the hummingbird diet is sugar, from flower nectar, tree sap and, of course, backyard feeders.
Hummingbirds cannot smell and depend on their eyesight to seek out flowers and hummingbird food. Inexpensive hummingbird feeders are readily available and will attract the busy little birds without the need for coloring the food - the bright red container and easy food source will keep them coming throughout the day. Since hummingbirds are territorial, you may want to hang two feeders - one in the back yard and one in the front, to accomodate as many hummingbirds as you can. Hanging the feeders in a shady spot will discourage fermentation and spoilage of the nectar.
Posted at 06:34 am by hummingbirdy