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Friday, May 21, 2010

Stokes Feeder Friday: Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female, at Stokes Select Royal hummingbird feeder.

The weather has been crazy here, ranging from a frost last week to, now, weather in the 70's and 80's. It is so important to keep your hummingbird feeders clean and filled with fresh fluid every 2-3 days, or every 2 days when it gets really hot. To make this easier, get feeders that come apart and you can easily clean! Clean with hot water and a little vinegar to get rid of any mold and rinse thoroughly.

Here's the recipe to make your own hummingbird nectar solution.

1 part white table sugar (not honey or artificial sweetener)
4 parts water

Boil for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the sugar, cool. Fill feeder. Store unused solution for up to
a week in the refrigerator. You do not need to add red dye. No one knows how it may affect hummingbirds so why bother. The rationale for the red dye used to be that the color red attracted hummingbirds. Most feeders today have some red on them, or some brightly colored parts that attract hummingbirds, so you do not need to add red dye to your nectar solution.

We now have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming regularly to our feeders here in NH. Females just recently showed up. We saw a male do a courtship display to a female where he flies in a big "U" shaped flight right over her, his red throat patch (called a gorget) flashing in the sunlight. After mating, the female lays 2 smaller-than-jelly-bean sized eggs and raises the young herself.

I'm going to go make some fresh hummingbird solution right now. Love those hummers!

2 comments:

Chad and Brandy said...

They are such fun to watch and amazing fliers. Keep those feeders clean.

habs12 said...

Just had my first "hummer" of the season Saturday here in Bangor, ME, pretty exciting, visited my feeder several times.