Friday, August 17, 2012

Feeding Hummingbirds

I finally snapped a picture of my hummer eating!!! They are so hard to get!

I love hummingbirds. Incase you've never noticed that about me, I do. They are just the coolest birds! Their eggs are the size of a tic tac, how cool is that?! I went on a trip to Glacier National Park and go the chance to see a hummingbird nest live and in person. It was so cool.. Here they are below...

I know it's hard to tell but this next was no bigger than a small fist.

The mix of nectar for hummingbirds is very important. it's a 1:4 ratio - one sugar to four water.

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1 cup cold water

Let cool to room temperature and fill feeder.

If you want more just up the amounts: 1 cup sugar, 2 cups hot water, 2 cups cold water
or less: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup hot water, 1/2 cup cold water

Also, you don't want/need any food coloring. Your feeder will have red to attract the hummingbirds. The food coloring isn't really good for them.

Keeping your feeders clean is also very important. Your need to change the food in the feeder every 3-4 days because the sugar will start to grow mold; especially if your feeder is in the sun. 

When you wash your feeder do not use soap, just hot water is enough. You should also have a nice scrub brush. This is the set that I got, but you really only need the big one because it can also clean the small flowers and other sections as well.

Here is one of my feeders. You want to pick a feeder that will come completely apart to make for easy cleaning. This one is a little difficult because of the shape of the 'balloon'. It can be hard to scrub the edges. This one would be very easy to clean and you wouldn't even need a special brush, you could just use a kitchen scrubber.

Here it is all hung up & put together. The hummers that come to my feeder like the little stands. They don't always use them but sometimes they like to sit and eat.

ant moat

Now this little red thing here is a very useful tool when it comes to hummingbirds. It's called an ant moat, or and guard. It keeps the ants from getting to your feeder. It highly HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, don't even bother putting up a feeder without it. The ants will find your feeder very quickly and as soon as they do they will cover it and discourage your hummers from eating at your house.

You can find them on Amazon or other online stores or you can make your own. I did have one that was excellent, it was clear and enclosed, meaning I had to turn it upside down to add the water. I preferred it because the water didn't evaporate so quickly. With these open ones the water tends to evaporate quite quickly which is frustrating. I'm searching for the one I had before, it's not on Amazon and I haven't found it yet so if you happen to stumble across it please let me know.

Red flowers will help to attract humming birds and butterflies to your house.

Also, a note on bees.. I haven't found a way to keep bees away from my feeders. They can be annoying but they don't seem to deter the hummers from feeding. They seem to take turns. If you look closely at the picture of my feeder at the top of this post you'll see some bees. yikes :) They didn't sting me though.

I hope you try feeding hummingbirds at your house. They are delightful little birds. Once you start feeding them don't stop because they will leave and go elsewhere and you may not be able to bring them back. Hummingbirds to migrate south in the winter (except in California; there is a breed that tends to stay year-round). 

Live webcams can be a lot of fun to watch. Sportsman's Paradise has some excellent wildlife webcams.

I've seen some fantastic hummingbird nest cams but I don't any are active right now. However, there are a few feeder cams; you can just google hummingbird cam and look through them to see which ones you like best. Some are not active, but just keep looking around.

I hope you have fun watching hummingbirds come to your yard!

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Please feel free to comment. I do review my comments to deter slander. Thank you for your consideration and again, thanks for reading. Have a lovely day! - Ciara