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Monday, June 09, 2008

Heat Wave!

American Goldfinch, male, at bird bath

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male, at feeder

While the mid-section of the country continues to get drenched, much of the East is having a heat wave, with heat advisories and, in some areas, dangerous air quality. Here in NH, at our home, Bobolink Farm, we try and help the birds through this:

1. Keep birds baths full of fresh, clean water for birds to bath and drink. Scrub baths out with a stiff brush and refill daily, or several times a day. Birds can coof off with a fresh drink and also by bathing and gettihg the water under their feathers.

2. Keep the hummingbird feeders filled with fresh, clean nectar. Replace the nectar every 1-2 days in hot weather as the nectar can be subject to mold, harmful bacteria or fermentation very quickly. It's not always easy to remember to change the fluid in the feeder, but it is essential for the health and safety of your hummers. We clean feeders with a little vinegar and hot water, using a small brush, then rinse. For quickness, we make the hummingbird nectar solution in the microwave:
- take 1 cup water
- add 1/4 cup of white table sugar
- Microwave on high for 2-2 1/2 minutes. Stirring once halfway through the cooking time to help disolve the sugar.
- Cool, refill in clean feeder

Remember to take care of yourself, so you can take care of the birds! Limity outdoor activity to early mornings or late in the day, when it it not quite as hot. Drink plenty of water. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Stay cool!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

What a lovely sight to see the birds at their bath and feeder.