Hummingbird man of Rogers County

Monday, August 8th 2005, 12:03 pm
By: News On 6

Hummingbirds can hover; they can fly right or left, up or down, even upside down. A lot of people put out hummingbird feeders every spring so they can watch.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells has found a man in Rogers County whose front porch feeders host a daily hummingbird feeding frenzy.

Gene Sullivan has a couple of humming bird feeders on his front porch near Keetonville. He's been busy since the spring mixing up his special nectar for the visiting birds. "I'm up to 144 quarts since the first of May."

He records each quart he mixes on a chart. He's been keeping these kinds of records for about five years. This is the biggest year yet and the word is out amongst the birds, Gene Sullivan's front porch is a good spot to hang out. "I was getting two four pound packages of sugar. They didn't last no time, then I went to getting 4, the other day I got six."

Rick Wells: "People at the store wonder what you're doing?" Gene Sullivan: "They probably think I'm makin' liquor."

When it's time for a refill, he rinses it out, adds some food coloring and a cup of sugar. "I get it about half full and then I'll dissolve that sugar real good." He fills it the rest of the way up and it's ready to go.

The feeders are busiest, he says, in the morning and evening. Dozens of hummingbirds coming to his two feeders. A refill only lasts six to eight hours. "If I wasn't retired I could do this." He could put more feeders out but these two are hard enough to keep up with and he'd hate for them to run dry.

Hummingbirds are migratory. They head south every Fall and return in the Spring. Instinctively they come back to the same favorite feeding areas year after year.