Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tips for Attracting & Feeding Hummingbirds

I love hearing the buzz of little wings as a hummingbird flies to the feeder outside my kitchen window. Because spring has been so warm in NY this year (a week of temperatures in the high 80s!) the hummingbirds have arrived a little early.

Attracting Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds like fragrant flowers. There is some perennial bee balm planted in the area by my hummingbird feeder. I also plant annual petunias.

Choosing a Feeder

Bright colors, especially red, are attracting to hummingbirds. Many red feeders are available for this purpose. 

I chose a new feeder this year that seems like it will be much easier to clean than my old one in the photo above. The new feeder is a Mason type jar with a wide mouth rather than one with a narrow opening. Those are nearly impossible to clean, which is important, because the sugar leads to a lot of mold growth!

I bought this feeder at Tractor Supply. I don't see the same one on their website, but they have a few other wide mouthed feeders to choose from.

Mixing the Food

Powders for mixing with water to make hummingbird food are available in stores. However, I choose to mix sugar and water to make my own. The birds seem to love it and it's much easier and inexpensive.

You can mix four cups of water with one cup of sugar. Ideally, this should be boiled to remove chlorine from the water and kill any spores that may be in the sugar. I have had success with simply dissolving the sugar and putting it right into the feeder, too.

You'll want to change the water in the feeder every 2-5 days to prevent mold growth.

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