Birds drawn to polymer clay flowers

A realistic polymer clay Four O’clock flower stopper on a mini liquor bottle makes a feeder that hummingbirds can’t resist.

Etsy’s “BirdArtist” has been a zoo keeper, a birder and an illustrator in Pennsylvania and has developed her feeders to be safe, practical and attractive to birds. The entire length of the feeder is only 6″.

It’s exciting to run into such novel, practical and effective use of polymer clay. Thanks to Julie Trulson for sending the link along.

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  • reply Julie Anstaett ,

    Really, really magnificent! Oh, to be able to sculpt like that….
    What a wonderful find.

    • reply Judy ,

      I love it!!

      • reply Lisa ,

        I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw that feeder – gorgeous, but in some ways not very practical. my sister has beaucoup hummingbirds at her house in the summer, and she goes through more than a quart of nectar a day sometimes, in 4 different feeders. She’d be refilling one of those every hour!

        • reply Julie Anstaett ,

          Laughter at the feeder is great…if you’re laughing because it evokes pleasure, or because it’s so beautiful…it’s gorgeous in every way, and filling it every hour just to be able to watch hummingbirds feed from it would be well worth it. Practicality is a moot point when one considers beauty…if we all had to consider the practical aspects of things we create, and not do so because they aren’t practical, then we’d be in an awfully barren world.

          • reply Birdartist (Kristin) ,

            Lisa, Julie, Julie, and everyone, thanks for your kind comments. They are much appreciated!

            As for the practicality issue, Lisa, while I’m not offended by your remarks, as the creator of these feeders, I’ve given these sorts of issues quite a bit of thought and decided I should comment.

            Many of us who feed hummingbirds are not blessed with the huge swarms that your sister has. For us, feeders with only 50ml capacity are, if anything, MORE practical than all those ridiculously large ones typically sold in stores. Believe it or not, for me, early in the year, when numbers are low, one 50 ml feeder lasts for 2-3 days between refillings. By then, the solution would need to be changed anyway. Later in the year, when the birds become more abundant, 3 or 4 feeders meet the needs of my small flock of a dozen or so birds. The solution only needs to be changed every 2-3 days (or more often if hot weather demands). They’re really quite easy to fill, and it’s no big deal given the numbers of birds I have.

            For me, and many, many other people, the huge feeders that are typically sold in stores are quite impractical. Worse, if filled all the way to the top, so much is left over after a few days, that I fear it can encourage some people to be careless with hygiene. Smaller feeders, like mine, make frequent changes essential. This can be a good thing because it encourages cleanliness. Then again, I could make larger feeders with larger flowers and larger bottles, but I don’t think it’s necessary or even desirable for most people. If someone asked me, I would, but I think the small size of my feeders is part of their charm.

            There is nothing to stop your sister from using one or even a few of my feeders alongside larger ones. If these small ones were to run dry, the hummingbirds could simply shift to the larger feeders. One of my feeders might be just the sort of thing to hang in an intimate area of her garden, somewhere that it could be appreciated. Just a thought.

            If there is any practicality issue with these feeders, it is that they are fragile. If they are dropped, they will chip or break. However, if treated with care, they can last for years.

            Thank you Julie, and Cynthia for posting this little blurb. I’m very flattered that you like my feeders, and pleased that other polymer clay artists will get a chance to see them.

            • reply Birdartist (Kristin) ,

              Oops! I meant to write Lisa, Julie, and JUDY–not 2 Julie’s in a row. There doesn’t seem to be any way to edit once you’ve made an error and submitted.

              Here’s one last note on practicality. I haven’t really done any comparative scientific tests to prove this, but just from watching behavior, I think the “novice” hummingbirds have a very easy time understanding and using my feeders. I hear stories all the time about hummingbirds having trouble understanding certain feeder designs. They may be confused, or leery about the feeder and don’t use it. I haven’t noticed this problem with mine, and I’d like to think the natural looking flowers make the difference.

              OK, enough from me. Thanks again!

              • reply Donna ,

                Bigger is not always better. Perhaps in the case of large numbers of hunmmingbirds, as is usually the case when gossip starts, these little beauties could be hung where the birds are a little more hesitant to approach and the larger ones where the traffic is heavy.
                You could also consider upping the sugar dose, this should satisfy the sugar need a little better thus not having to feed the volume.

                • reply Kate Clawson ,

                  I think that is wonderful. Hummingbirds are my favortie bird and after moving to Pennsylvania I have only seen one or two and my feeder when unnoticed. When living in NJ, my yard was planted with wildlife and birds in mind and was filled with all kinds. I had a trumpet vine especially planted near my deck to bring in the hummers and bring them in it did! In fact while trying to snap a few pics of them I almost have one impale itself on my forehead!

                  One time my husband was standing on the front porch where we did have a feeder hanging nearby and he was just drinking a cup of coffee, looking out over the yard when a hummer suddenly appeared right in front of him! He was wearing a red T-shirt and the hummer must have thought he had hit the jackpot as this must have been the biggest red flower he’d ever seen! Only problem was, he could figure out where to get the nectar from and then disappointingly flew off!

                  Your bottle is beautiful and I think you may have to make more, because word will get out in the hummer community ( they talk about these things while wintering over in Mexico you know 😉 )and all the ones from miles around will come just to eat at your elegant flower sipper!

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