Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#64 Backyard Tip: Humor the Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are easily attracted to backyard feeders, and will provide hours of enjoyment in watching them hover, feed and perch. While hummingbirds eat insects for protein, they need flower nectar for energy, and will readily feed on sugar water.

A wide variety of hummingbird feeders are available - most feature a clear plastic or glass container to hold liquid, and a bright red plastic base to attract the birds.  Some models have a perch on which the active hummers might pause for a moment.

Make your own homemade sugar-water solution by following this simple recipe of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.

Bring 4 parts water (2 cups) to boil, adding in 1 part white sugar (1/2 cup). Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Boiling kills bacteria, yeast and mold spores. Remove from heat and let cool for several hours.

Fill your hummingbird feeder with only enough solution that you think will be consumed in 3 days. Store remaining solution in the fridge. Change the solution regularily - every 3 days - and wash the feeders at that time, before adding a fresh batch of solution. Do not add any red dye or food coloring.

You will soon be well rewarded with hummers flitting around your feeder!
photo © adrian binns

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