Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the Proper Care and Maintenance of Hummingbirds

It is doubtful that there exist more delightful creatures than hummingbirds.* These high-energy creatures dart and zip around as if they are fueled on pure sugar. Oh wait, I guess they are...

*Yes, I realize that your dear pet is very cute, but this is my blog post and we are talking hummers here.

Hummingbirds seemingly spend most of their waking hours searching out sweet nectar, and are easily lured to your garden by the addition of a hummingbird feeder or twelve.
Now I know where all the hummingbirds in our area have gone. Apparently, all the daylilies are here too.

These little things are extremely territorial.

"Hey! That's my sugar water!"

"Tough, I was here first!"

"Oh yeah? I'll fight you for it!"

Um, yeah. I admit that my hummingbird translation is a bit rough, but you get the idea.

Let's move to the proper food for hummers.

Commercial mixes are available for hummingbird feeders, but it is easy (and cheaper) to make your own.

Here, we have the ingredients. Four parts water to one part granulated sugar. Red food coloring is not necessary; the hummers will find the sugar water without the coloring.

It is very important that honey never be used. Honey is poisonous to hummingbirds.

Heat the water to boiling before adding the sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and turn off the heat.

Allow the sugar water to cool down to room temperature before filling the hummingbird feeder.

We still seem to be at an impasse here.

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