published Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Hummingbird feeders don’t have to be high — and more letters to the editors

Hummingbird feeders don’t have to be high

I was disappointed to read the hummingbird tips at the end of the “Winged Beauty” article.

To correct for those new to hummingbird feeding: Hummingbird feeders do not have to be 10 feet above the ground. I have seen the little beauties hitting the jewel weed at the Standifer Marsh less than a foot off the ground. Most shepherd’s hooks place feeders at about 5 feet.

We get hummingbird strays every winter. Some people leave their feeders out year round. Notably, we see reports of several Rufous hummingbirds yearly.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been seen as early as mid-March and as late as early November. Our rule of thumb is “Fool’s Day to Ghoul’s Day” or April 1 to Oct. 31. This provides a way station for most early or late migrants.

Hummingbird feeding does not hinder migration. That is a myth. Some recent research has said the migration is determined by a instinctive awareness of the length of daylight available.

By providing food, we help them prepare for migration and may even save one that has been slightly injured and needing to stop more often en route.

Again, we do get winter hummingbirds every year.

MEL VANDERGRIFF, manager, Wild Birds Unlimited


Support EPA Efforts to clean the air

Many of us read Ms. DeOlloqui’s commentary in a recent paper regarding the climate change movement now underway in America. The American Lung Association gives Hamilton County an “F” for ozone, which causes smog.

We all agree we need clean air! My recent usage of a rescue inhaler made me acutely aware of shortness of breath and the smothering feeling so prevalent for many of us in the Chattanooga area.

As children are returning to school, parents are preparing for worsened asthma symptoms caused by high heat and smog. Asthma is the number-one health-related reason an American child is absent from school and results in many falling behind in their classes and missing out on many things that enrich their lives, from recess to sports.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s soon-to-be-updated air quality standards for smog and its proposed Clean Power Plan to cut power plant carbon gas emissions will together reduce smog and soot pollution that make us sick.

I urge all Hamilton County residents to support the EPA’s efforts to clean up our air and improve our health.

BEVERLY MORRIS

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