Hummingbirds are one of the most entertaining birds to watch in your yard, as they dive-bomb and chase each other and even larger birds. Adding nectar-producing plants with red or tubular-shaped flowers to your garden is one way to attract hummers so you can enjoy their antics. To observe them up close, provide a sugar-water feeder filled with homemade nectar. If you're creative, you can make your own feeder for less than it costs to buy many hummingbird feeders.
Things You'll Need
- All-weather water bottle for hamster or guinea pig
- Red nontoxic craft paint
- Small paintbrush
- White granulated sugar
- Shears or wire cutters
Paint the outside of your all-weather water bottle with the red nontoxic craft paint and a small paintbrush. The red color will attract hummingbirds to your feeder.
Cook up your homemade hummingbird nectar. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pan on the stove. Add 1 cup of white granulated sugar to the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Set the pan aside until the nectar cools to room temperature.
Remove the feeding tube from your red-painted water bottle. Insert a funnel in the mouth of the water reservoir. Pour the hummingbird nectar from the pan into the funnel until the bottle is filled. Replace the feeding tube.
Place your hummingbird feeder, tube facing downward, against a tree branch or a post. Cut a length of wire long enough to circle around the feeder and the branch or post, and overlap at the ends. Wrap the wire around the feeder and branch or post. Twist the overlapping ends to secure the feeder in place.
Tips & Warnings
- Make more or less hummingbird nectar as needed, always keeping the proportion of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.
- Clean the feeder weekly, using a bottle brush and hot water -- but no soap.
- Hang your feeder in a shaded area; placing it in the direct sun will cause the nectar to leak out, and the nectar in the bottle to spoil more quickly.
- Change the nectar every three to five days to prevent mold and fermenting, which can be fatal.
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