Hummingbirds really can become great little friends in flower gardens! Once they know there is steady supply of fresh food and drink (All in One) and no real threats, they will fly by you with in inches and provide another exotic pleasure to your Bird Watching ! Now if they are to keep them coming back to your house, you must provide a steady supply of "fresh" sugar water! and have a few ancillary items in the surroundings. Let's see.. Step one below
Things You'll Need
- Recipe for the Sugar water.
- Measuring device (not scientific at all)
- A good, yet inexpensive Humming bird feeder.
- A routine method to keep up with the constant changing of the sugar water mixture and cleaning of the feeder !
- A pan for boiling the sugar water mixture.
- A stove
- Tap water
- Sugar (just granular coffee grade Sugar)
Buy a Humming Bird feeder from one of the local stores. The feeders can be purchased online too and delivered to your door! You will have many choices of styles and size.. I have found the more simple horizontal feeders of medium size to work great and they provide easy access for the Hummingbirds to reach the water. That style feeder is just so easy to clean and fill!
Clean the feeder before using it! Just almost hot water and a cloth. Just like Fish tanks, Bird feeders are not to be cleaned with chemicals, so "NO SOAP" or Detergents. Find a place to mount your feeder, keeping in mind the convenience of both your changing the feeder water often and the Hummingbirds peace and ability to reach the feeder as well! Once the feeder is mounted (hopefully where you can see it from the inside of your house too) Now you can make up a not so mysterious mixture of sugar water for the little birds!
Making a Sugar water mixture takes no time at all, especially if you can make it in larger quantities and store it in your refrigerator for future use! The Ratio of Sugar and Water works like this.. 4 Cups of Tap (not distilled) Water will be mixed with 1 Cup of Sugar.. 4 x 1 ratio! So make up a larger mixture by doubling the amounts or if you change the feeder water very often.. you could make 3 times as much Sugar Water by mixing 12 Cups of Water and 3 Cups of Sugar. Stop, Next Step please
Now you have a quantity of Sugar Water mixed and ready to Heat Up! Pour the Sugar Water Mixture into a pan on a stove and bring the mixture to the Boiling point.. then, immediately Simmer (lowest heat)the sugar water mixture for 2 minutes max! You now have a syrup of sugar and water mixture and this can be refrigerated for a week or so depending on how often you change the water and why! Strategy Next step.. (also a pix of a Very Cool Looking Hummingbird Feeder!)
We are almost there now! So you have simmered and cooled down the 4 x 1 ratio of Sugar Water Mixture. Use some method of measuring out the amount of mixture needed for your size feeder. I have a 300 ml measuring cup that fills my Hummingbird feeder to the top of the feeder! You can fill your feeder up with water first and then pour it back into a measuring cup or coffee cup or any container that is the same size as your feeder and "Micro wavable" then all you do is fill the mixture from the fridge to the cup or measuring device that is the same size and warm it up to room temperature in the microwave. (30 seconds or less and fill the feeder.)
The Feeder has been filled with the 4 x 1 ratio Sugar Water solution after being warmed up to room temp and now is going to placed on the porch or patio and the game is on! So to increase your chance of having the pleasure of seeing 6 or 7 of these little hummers hanging out at once.. You need to change the Sugar Water Mixture frequently. Sometimes as frequent as every day! ..if it is extremely hot weather you may need more frequent changes. Right now in the 70 degrees range you can change the mixture every 2 or 3 days! This keep the mixture fresh and attractive to the Hummingbirds! It also prevents mold or bacteria from growing on their feeder.. So important! * Show me a person who is diligent and consistent about their feeding habits with Wild birds and I will show you a person who has a variety of Wild birds to amuse and startle them with beauty!
Tips & Warnings
- Keeping a feeding mixture fresh and frequently cleaning the feeder is absolute!
- Don't over boil the mixture when cooking it! Keep an eye on the boiling point and almost immediately remove it from the boil to the simmer state! Wait a couple of minutes and let it cool in a pyrex container, if you have one.
- Either use some of it (after it is room temp) to fill the Hummingbird feeder for the first time or put it in a container for storage in the fridge!
- Ants can be a problem! If they appear to be showing up more often.. simply apply vegetable oil to the feeder handle.. they won't cross it the oil usually!
- Ants again can be contained by an ant dam on the outside of the feeder. Some feeders have that feature built-in! They can be bought separate for controlling Ants on the edge of the feeder
- If the sugar mixture is left without attendance after the initial enthusiasm.. it could cause death to the Hummingbirds.. ingesting Molds and some bacteria are toxic and fatal to most birds! Hummingbirds are more susceptible due to their fragility and feeding habits!
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