Tips for Feeding Hummingbirds

HummingbirdsOK, I’ve had some lovely people give me some pretty fancy hummingbird feeders. But here’s what I’ve discovered: the best hummingbird feeders are those cheap ones.  Yep, the red ones.

But don’t use the hummingbird food that’s provided.  Turns out that that’s not good for them.  Neither is red food coloring.  Just plain ‘ol sugar water does the trick:  4 parts water to 1 part sugar (nothing else but the white stuff). Add sugar to boiling water and stir about 30 seconds to dissolve.  Then let it cool to room temperature or put it in the fridge.

Fill your feeders and enjoy the show!  Sugar water molds pretty quickly here in Phoenix, so make sure you clean the feeders with dish detergent once a week and every 2-3 days in the summer.  If you do get mold, disinfect your feeder with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). However you clean them, make sure to rinse…and rinse again…and rinse once more.

One last thing…some 70 species of hummingbirds are in danger of extinction because they’ve lost their natural habitats.  Putting feeders out–and using native plants that attract hummingbirds–may help restore populations of these tiny, but amazingly beautiful birds!

 

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