Article written

  • on 23.08.2011
  • at 02:57 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

It’s Time to Feed the Hummers

Aug23

Nothing says Spring quite like the first sight of a hummingbird. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of viewing one from a fairly close vantage point, you don’t know what you’re missing. These docile creatures are easy to attract and many inexpensive, yet decorative glass hummingbird feeders are available through mail order or at your local pet shop.

I recommend the glass hummingbird feeders because they are easier to clean, less likely to harbor bacteria, and therefore more sanitary.

Glass hummingbird feeders come in a variety of appealing shapes and sizes and I view them almost as little works of art. You can choose any color, but the tiny creatures tend to gravitate to the color red.

Filling the Feeder

Forget the powdered stuff that looks like pixie stix dust. I’ve been there, done that and quite frankly feel that it’s a waste of money since the hummingbirds failed to be attracted to the concoction, which I carefully mixed with water according to the package directions.

The easiest way I’ve found to prepare nectar which will appeal to the most discerning hummingbird palate is to pull your handy dandy glass measuring cup out of the pantry, shake granulated sugar into it up to the ¼ cup mark and fill the rest with water—up to two cups, then nuke it in the microwave for two minutes. This will dissolve the sugar adequately. Let cool completely and then fill your glass hummingbird feeder with the syrup. Experts advise against adding red food coloring to the mix and caution against commercial mixtures containing preservatives.

The More the Merrier

Because male hummingbirds tend to be territorial, you may attract more hummers if you put out several small glass hummingbird feeders. Because the small feeders need to be filled more often, it’s a bit more work, but you are less likely to lose nectar due to spoilage and more apt to keep vessels cleaner—a plus for your winged friends.

Darned Pests!

After you’re all set up and comfortably into a routine of enjoying a steady stream of hummers flying up and dining at su casa, you may also witness some unwelcome visitors doing the same. Ants tend to be attracted to the nectar in hummingbird feeders, so it is important to choose a dripless feeder, or a feeder with an ant moat so the little suckers are drowned as they walk the plank. Take that matey!

Bees can be a nuisance as well. I’m sure my neighbors got quite a laugh watching me screaming and blasting them with the hose on high last year as my frustration got the best of me. This technique did nothing but get my deck wet and the little stingers swarmed back to the scene of the crime the minute I stomped in the house.

After some research, I tried two solutions, each which worked. I moved the feeder to another location. Their little bee brains took awhile to catch on and I moved it again. I also applied a light coat of olive oil to the surface of the feeder where the bees landed. Evidently, they didn’t like slip sliding away while trying to enjoy a good meal.

Of course squirrels will want to get in on the action since Pest Humans 101 is a mandatory course at squirrel college. To keep them from getting drunk at the hummer bar, buy an inexpensive, easy-to-install squirrel baffle.

So now that you’re up to date on how to enjoy a steady flow of hummingbirds, get set up and be prepared to enjoy the show!

Now that you’ve gotten more information about glass hummingbird feeders, expand your horizons and consider learning more about wild bird feeders. Post written by guest blogger Stephanie Kalina-Metzger.

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