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Radiant hummers, bluebirds, return

April is the season of bluebirds. We watch streaks of blue dart across the sky as the bluebirds seek a nesting site for the summer. These colorful birds need our attention and care; we can help them to flourish by setting out bluebird houses, available at many local outlets. If you are handy, mechanically inclined, you can build a bluebird house.

Bluebirds raise two or three broods, beginning in May. After each brood has left the nest, clean out the old nest; it’s also okay to lift the top of the house and take a peek at the baby birds or the nest filled with eggs. Just don’t put any food directy into the bluebird house.

Bluebirds are perfectly capable of caring for themselves and their babies. After taking your weekly peek at the little ones, be sure to secure the lid. You need not be afraid of frightening away the parent birds; they will return.


  • Bluebirds will raise at least two broods
  • Clean the old next our between broods
  • It okay to raise the roof 9lid) and peek at the chicks
  • Put your blue houses up now (don’t place then trees; instead use a sturdy pole). We attached ours to our deck and have already attracted new tenants

It’s also the season for hummingbirds, and yes, they’ve arrived in Clarksville. They are wonderfully entertaining guests at our feeders, where they will continue visiting through the summer. Hummingbirds usually stay in our area through October and we take pleasure in caring for our “hummers.”

Hummers, radiant jewels in the birding kingdom, are the smallest and most colorful of our feathered friends.They’ll be hovering in our yard, famished from their long flight from Mexico, searching for a regular source of food. Hummingbirds beat their wings 80 times a second as the hover at a flower or feeder; it is a constant expenditure of energy.

Preparing a hummer “lunch,” a sugary nectar, is easy.

  • Clean you feeder twice a week, discarding any leftover solution (do this more often if you have many hummers). I use a baby bottle brush to clean my feeders.
  • Mix four parts water to one part sugar (dissolve thoroughly) and put it in the feeder.
  • During mating season birds may seem absent from the feeder; don’t worry. they will return.

Your commitment to these beautiful, colorful birds can enrich your life. They are arriving now and I’ve just seen the first of them in my yard. My feeder is already in position to serve as a fountain of energy for these exquisite, radiant birds.

Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

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