Winged jewels of the garden!
One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the porch and watch the hummingbirds hovering in mid air and hear their fast fly by buzz. The best part – it’s not hard to attract hummingbirds to your patio or garden and it’s super easy to make their nectar.
Tips for Feeding Hummingbirds:
On the Gulf Coast hummers arrive early in the Spring, so I put feeders out as soon as the weather starts warming up to be ready for them. The bright and colorful flowers on the patio seems to be a beacon to hummingbirds.
It is also a good idea to keep your feeders up into the winter months for migrating hummers and those birds that are unable to make the long trip. You can take the feeders down after you are sure there are no birds “wintering” over.
Hummingbird feeders should be placed in a shady area to discourage bacteria and mold from spoiling the nectar. Even if you still have nectar in your feeder, you should replace it at least once a week.
Recipe for Hummingbird food:
4 parts water / 1 part sugar
Bring water to a boil and stir in sugar. Let nectar cool and store in a covered glass jar.
Nectar will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. What I like to do is to take down the feeders in the evening after the sun has gone down to clean and refill them. That way the cold water has all night to warm up to room temperature.
Never use red food coloring, honey or artificial sweeteners. It is harmful to the birds.
I know some say that it is unnecessary to boil the water, but I feel like it is a simple step to kill bacteria and the sugar dissolves easier.
Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders:
Here in Texas it gets very hot in the summer so I clean my hummingbird feeders every 2 – 3 days. Nectar tends to “ferment” in the hot weather and harmful bacteria will form. (this will happen even if the feeder is not in direct sunlight) I rinse out my feeders with a mild soapy solution (no harsh chemicals) and bottle brush. Be sure to rinse very well in clear water to remove all traces of soap residue.
You don’t need a lot of supplies for hummers but one of the most handy is a good bottle brush! It sure makes things a lot easier when cleaning the feeders!
If You Find an Injured Hummingbird:
Please do not put them into a wire bird cage! They can easily hurt themselves on the wire. Place the injured hummer into a shoebox (with air holes) and put the lid on with a rubber band. Place the shoe box in a quiet place and then call your local wildlife rehabber. Please do not let children handle the bird. This is not the time to play “looky loo” for the whole neighborhood. The life of the bird depends on this! An overly stressed bird can easily go into shock!
Hummingbird Trivia: Hummingbirds are the only bird that can fly backward
I have yet to find the “perfect hummingbird feeder” but if you have one that you love, please leave a comment below!