Hummingbirds are good for your garden and fun to watch! Feeding hummingbirds is an easy, inexpensive and satisfying pastime. All you need is a feeder, table sugar and some water to get started.
The first step is getting a bird feeder. One of the most important things to remember when selecting a feeder is that it be easy to clean and fill. You want to be a good host so in order to do that, you must keep your feeder very clean and full of fresh nectar! Hummingbirds are most attracted to the color red so another thing to keep in mind when shopping for a feeder is that it be red rather than other colors.
The next step is making the hummingbird food. Flower nectar is around 25% sucrose so always remember to have a 4:1 ratio; 4 parts water to 1 part cane sugar. Do not use honey, syrup, brown/raw sugar or artificial sweeteners as they are hazardous for the birds. Remember that since the bird feeders are red you do not need (and should not use) food coloring to make the nectar more attractive. Just like in nature nectar is clear and flowers have color. After you put the sugar and water in a pot and and bring it to a boil you must remove it from the heat, leaving it covered to allow it to cool before using it.
It is very important to keep your hummingbird feeders clean and the nectar fresh. This is because bacteria and mold grow in sugar water and sugar ferments, so make sure that your hummingbird food is never left out for more than 3 days and is changed more frequently in very hot weather. The best place to hang your feeder is in the shade because it will keep the nectar fresh for longer. If you don’t have many birds visiting you in the beginning you can fill the feeders with less food and store the extra in your refrigerator.
Follow these simple guidelines and you should have hummingbirds buzzing around your yard in no time!