So here's some tips to make feeding hummingbirds more enjoyable and less of a chore:
- 1st things 1st; plant nectar friendly plants...hummingbirds can not exist on feeders alone; they need the sugar that comes from flowers naturally and also, they will eat tiny spiders and gnats (be on the lookout for that behavior one summer evening; its a hoot!)
- Place feeders in a shady spot in a location that is visible for you to enjoy from your home or seated location in your garden. As I alluded to in the 1st tip; feeders aren't completely necessary as a food source - it's for our enjoyment.
- make your own nectar; don't buy the red stuff. This is super easy and important. All you need is regular granulated sugar and water. One part sugar to four parts water (1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups water is what I use); apply heat in a saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. I place it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. And why not red? The food coloring additive has only been tested for human consumption, not a creature weighing less than a dime. Trust me they will come even if it isn't red.
- Ok, here comes the hardest part...change feeders frequently and in high heat, everyday.
- So, you've decided this is still more than you can commit; that's ok. Here's some further tips on enjoying hummingbirds without making them sick: Only provide a small amount of nectar in the feeder (if you've forgotten to change it, it's likely to have run out in a day or two. Plant hummingbird friendly plants and either forgo feeders or place them out only when you are home to watch. The plants will keep them nearby and the feeder will be a treat for you both!
- And some people tell me they have trouble with bees; I've never really noticed a problem unless the nectar spoils and ferments. So keeping them fresh should eliminate that problem. Ants can be a concern and ant moats are especially designed to block their path; we have some arriving at the shop today!
We sell and recommend Parasol Hummingbird Feeders:
- mini blossom garden stakes - great to enhance a planter and on sale right now!
- droplets - our favorite feeder; its tiny - you can't really over fill it and let the nectar spoil
- pixie - similar to a droplet but whimsical with glass wings!
- ant moats - as mentioned above, this helpful tool keeps your feeder ant free; I also use this with suspended bird houses as ants can irritate babies and cause an early fledge
- brushes - tiny parts need tiny brushes and this one was designed to get in small holes
- replacement tube - for parasol feeders; accidents happen and we can send you a replacement tube to keep your feeder in tip top shape!
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