How To Feed Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe/ Feeding Tips/ Feeders And Feeder Maintainence
Feeding hummingbirds are fun and simple to do. Once the hummingbirds find your feeders, their aerial antics will provide hours of enjoyment.
Below you will find the collection of information, tips, and tricks for attracting and feeding hummingbirds. This information will help you attract more hummingbirds to your feeders and keep them coming back all season long.
You should be warned before you proceed to feed and watching hummingbirds is a very addicting activity. You may soon find every available space in your garden taken up by a hummingbird feeder.
Hummingbird Feeding/ And Feeder Maintenance
7 Easy Tips To Keep Them Coming Back
- Get your feeders up early. Check the books for the average arrival dates for hummingbirds in your area. By placing your feeders out 5 to 10 days in advance, the early arrivals will be more likely to find your feeders and take up residence in your garden.
- Avoid territorial disputes. In the eastern United States, where the hummingbird population is less dense, hummingbirds can be very territorial, so place your feeders in such a way that one bully can’t guard them all. (This is not so critical in the western part of the U.S., where the sheer numbers of hummingbirds prevent one dominant bird from driving all of the others away.)
- Keep your hummingbird nectar fresh. The hummingbird nectar will need to be replaced every 3 to 5 days, or more often in warm weather. Check daily and if the nectar begins to look cloudy replace it. A cloudy appearance means that the nectar is starting to ferment and may become toxic to your hummingbirds.
- Keep it clean. Hummingbirds are sticklers for good housekeeping, so keep your feeders clean, or they won’t use them. It is a good idea to give your hummingbird feeders a good washing every time you take them down to refill. A simple wash in warm mildly soapy water and a good rinse will be okay.
- Avoid red food coloring. While no conclusive studies have taken place, the preliminary test indicates that the red dye in food coloring may be harmful to hummingbirds. I encourage you to err on the side of caution. Choosing feeders with red incorporated in the design will attract hummingbirds and eliminate the need for artificial coloring.
- Plant flowers and shrubs hummingbirds love. When given a choice hummingbird prefer flower nectar overall substitutes. Plant some flowers that hummingbirds find attractive, to help ensure that they maintain the residence in your garden and continue to visit your feeders.
- Leave your feeder up late. You will notice a decrease in visits to your feeder as the hummingbirds begins their winter migration. Leaving your feeders up for an extra week or two can help provide a much need energy boost for any hummingbirds passing through on the way to their wintering grounds.
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
There are many package nectar mixes available on the market today, but hummingbird nectar is very simple and inexpensive to make yourself. The nectar is simply a sugar solution consisting of 4 parts water and 1 part sugar.
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 4 Cups Water
1. On the stove bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil.
2. Add 1 cup of sugar stirring until dissolved.
3 Remove Mixture from heat and allow to cool completely
After your hummingbird nectar is cooled, it is ready for the feeder. Any unused nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks
Hummingbird Nectar From Concentrate
For Those Who Can’t Boil Water
Ok, if you’re someone that finds boiling water a challenge hummingbird nectar concentrate is an option. If I were to go the focus route for hummingbird nectar, this would be my choice. I like the fact that it contains no artificial food coloring.
Before choosing to go with nectar concentrate, you may wish to consider the number of hummingbirds you are likely to be feeding. A member of my family has a cabin in Northern Arizona, where an astounding number of hummingbirds visit their feeders consuming 2+ gallons of nectar per day. That would be more than 4 bottles of nectar concentrate per day; I will leave the cost-benefit analysis to you.
Best Hummingbird Feed On Amazon
Best Hummingbird Feeders
When choosing a hummingbird feeder, I prefer glass over plastic or polycarbonate. To me, glass feeders just look better, feel better, and are more durable. This is purely a personal preference, as the hummingbirds can’t tell the difference.
A Good Hummingbird Feeder Should:
- Be easy to put up and take down.
- Be easy to clean
- Have plenty of red incorporated into the design? (This eliminates the perceived need to add red food coloring
- to your hummingbird nectar.)
Below you can see some of my favorite hummingbird feeders
Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder
These simple, inexpensive hummingbird feeding tubes allow you to turn just about any container into a hummingbird feeder. Just plug the stopper into any container and decorate to suit your style. Make a dozen feeders for the price of one.