Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Attracting and Feeding Hummingbirds

One of my favorite visitors in the spring are the hummingbirds. i attract them with both feeders and flowers.

The hummingbirds always appear before my flowers are in bloom, so i use feeders until there is enough flower nectar available to feed them.

i found these simple feeders at our local Dollar tree.  They are such a great deal and they come apart easily for easy cleaning. i've owned many hummingbird feeders over the years, and some of them although pretty, are very difficult to clean.  These are my new favorites.

It's very important to keep your humming bird feeder clean.  i replace the food and clean it out (hot water, no soap). every other day.  i use a toothbrush to reach all the areas.  Any time you see black mildew/mold forming, or the nectar looks cloudy or there are dead ants/insects in it the feeder needs to come down and be cleaned immediately.

Unfortunately many well meaning folks, are making the hummingbirds sick by feeding them contaminated nectar.  The black mold causes their tongues to swell and they slowly stare to death.  So when choosing a hummingbird feeder, make sure  it comes completely apart and you can clean all parts of it easily. i use a pipe cleaner to clean the inside of the little flowers.

i liked these little dollar feeders so well i purchased several, and have them spaced out around the yard.  When i make up the nectar, i only fill the feeders about half full, so i'm not wasting too much by changing it every other day.  Humming bird nectar is very easy to make at home, there is no need to purchase it.  

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:
  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present.
  2. Cool and fill feeder.
  3. Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.
  4. Red dye should not be added.

As the nectar flowers begin blooming in the spring, i take down the feeders. The natural foods are much better for the hummingbirds, and if you plant lots of nectar flowers for them you'll still have plenty of hummingbird flying around, but you won't need to give them the artificial food.

Some hummingbird favorites that i grow are red bee balm, scarlet runner beans, coneflowers, purple hyacinth vine, foxglove, honeysuckle, columbine, tall phlox, daylilies, butterfly bush, zinnia and more. You'll find that the nectar flowers attract both hummingbirds and butterflies.

They are most attracted to red flowers, but once you've caught their attention they will feed on flowers from a variety of colors.

We attract many different birds with feeders around the property. We also plant flowers and trees that are bird friendly and provide food and shelter.   Often times we are visited by migratory birds like Red Breasted Grosbeak, waxwings and Baltimore Orioles that stop by the feeders as they are passing through. 

The hummingbirds are a definite favorite, so it's very important to keep those feeders clean and the food fresh.   i could spend all day taking pictures of them. They are such a amazing little creatures.

Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence. Hummingbird brings the gift of joy. Learn to laugh and be happy. – Unknown Quotes


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