5 STEPS TO HAPPY HUMMINGBIRDS



  • *Attracting and Caring for Hummingbirds
*I have been attracting hundreds of hummingbirds to my home every spring and summer for more than 30 years. Some sites offer information on this subject that is incorrect and may be harmful to the birds. If you are interested in doing things the right way, please take some time and read my in-depth page here.


Hummingbird Magic
HOW TO KEEP HUMMINGBIRDS HAPPY




PAGE CONTENTS:

1. Make Your Own Hummingbird Nectar

2. Hummingbird Feeders

3. Hummingbird Feeder Location

4. Hummingbird Feeder Maintenance

5. Hummingbird Environments




Hummingbird and the Heron

1. Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Never ever use premixed solutions!

* ESPECIALLY do not use any product with red dye in it.
    * It's unnecessary and may harm the birds.
       * At best it is useless.


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*HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR IS A ONE TO FOUR MIXTURE -
*1 PART SUGAR TO 4 PARTS WATER

I  REPEAT -

Use one part regular cane sugar (NO substitutes) to
four parts cold tap (or filtered water is even better) water for your hummingbird nectar.

This is the most widely accepted solution.


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* This mix approximates the average sucrose content of flowers favored by North American birds.

* Do not make it sweeter as it may harm the birds.

* There is no need to boil the water! It is best to use a water filter to filter your tap water or use bottled water. (Unless you have had your water tested recently, I highly recommend using filtered or bottled water. Even municipal water may have lead, chlorine or fluoride in it.)

* Use only room temperature filtered water or cold tap water (using hot tap water may activate contaminants) and dissolve the sugar by stirring or add it directly to the bottle (see super easy bottle recipe below) and shake well. If you feel the need to use hot water to dissolve the sugar, just heat filtered water in the microwave.

* It will last up to two weeks in the fridge.

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4 x 4" alcohol Ink on ceramic tile ~ Sold


HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN NECTAR

Lasts 2 weeks in the fridge!



EASY NECTAR RECIPE - STEP #1

Using an Ocean Spray Bottle




Take off label and thoroughly rinse empty bottle with clean water. Use a funnel and put 1½ cups of plain white cane sugar into bottle.


EASY NECTAR RECIPE - STEP #2

Using an Ocean Spray Bottle




Fill the bottle with the filtered water to the top of the blue Ocean Spray logo. Put the top on and shake the sugar and water until dissolved. (It will look cloudy at first.) And you are done! This nectar mixture can be refrigerated for up to two weeks! (Although around here it only lasts a day.)


My Supplies for Making Nectar 




The Sugar Water - Nectar Assembly Line
Some Tips And Tricks

Keeping up with so many hungry hummers is a challenge and a joy. Here's some photos of my Hummingbird Nectar Operation. The first photo shows my supplies and empty Ocean Spray juice bottles. I now prefer them over soda bottles because they are heavier weight plastic, (#2) which is recyclable here, while most soda pop and water bottles are not - (#4 or no number). The squarish bottles fit nicely in the fridge and I love their new cranberry juice products! Since I have over a dozen feeders, it does take some time to clean and refill them everyday. See how nice the bottles (3 gallons worth) fit in my rather small refrigerator. The nectar will stay for up to two weeks there. And I'll give testimony to how much the gang loves a fresh cold drink on a hot summer day!





Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Bottles Save Space 


Hummingbird Joy

2. Hummingbird Feeders
Saucer type feeders with perches are the best type to have.


* Birds like to perch and survey their territory.

* A flat feeder allows for greater visibility producing less anxiety.

* Sitting and resting during feeding saves precious energy.

* Perching helps young birds to socialize.

* Flat feeders are MUCH easier to clean.

* Yellow flowers on feeders are unnecessary.
   * They are said to attract ants.
   * They make the feeder much harder to clean.


I don't like the idea of a disposable feeders, commercial premixed nectars or any other gimmicks that companies come up with just to make money! If you don't have time to clean out your feeders, just hang seasonal flowers that the hummingbirds enjoy. See the list below.
If you are serious about attracting your own little band of buddies, it's important to be vigilant about the filling and cleaning of several feeders right from the beginning. If you aren't, they'll just come on down to my place! 
 I put out several feeders as soon as I see activity, because hummers are so territorial that if you only have one or two out, some will just move on if the competition is too tough. Read this entire page to find out all the details of hummer happiness. If you have any questions, be sure to email me! I'd love to hear from you!




Hummingbird Feeders I Recommend

You'll need more than one for nonstop action!
Aspects Brand are the best and most durable hummingbird feeders I've tried. They are a little more expensive than some, but in the long run, you get what you pay for!! These also make wonderful thoughtful gifts that are as practical as they are attractive.






Aspects Hummingbird Hummzinger Feeders

Aspects HummZingers come in variety of sizes and styles. I like the one with a 16oz. capacity. It has six ports and is good for high traffic areas. I've got 7 or 8 of these feeders in the large size.You'll also want to pick up a couple of the small (3 port) minis for areas where a male dominates and a medium size (4 ports) for less used areas.





Here is a snapshot of some of my Hummingbird Feeder mistakes, discards and disasters. Click HERE so you don't make the same errors! 



3. Hummingbird Feeder Location

Hummingbirds ~ Symbols of Joy

 Location is Key!

* The north side is most desirable. - It's in shade most of the day.

* The south side is least desirable. - It's in direct sun most of the day.
  
* Placing feeders under trees provides cover and eliminates direct sunlight. However, don't hang them directly from trees or objects where cats or other animals may gain access.

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* Pole hangers or shepherd's hooks are the safest and most versatile for hanging feeders.


* They can easily be moved to ideal locations.


* This keeps feeders a safe distance off ground - away from predators.



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4 x 4" alcohol Ink on ceramic tile - Sold

* About ants:




* Ant moats filled with clean water are a great deterrent and are available for purchase in many styles.

* Or you can make your own ant moat. My husband made mine in my favorite color. Be sure to keep them clean also, because small birds like finches like to drink from them.

Ant moats my husband made
They're made out of spray paint caps
Top view - using bolts, gaskets and washers

* Do not spray PAM or use any type of oil on your poles as there is always a chance that the oil could drip or come into contact with birds which can be deadly for them.
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* Position feeders near trees and plant cover.

* Hang feeders near windows so you can enjoy the hummingbirds' company.

* To be on the safe side, put decals and or sun catchers on windows near feeders to avoid collisions.


4. Hummingbird Feeder Maintenance

The return is well worth the effort.

* Maintaining your feeders is a commitment. ~ Your hummers will become dependent on your care.


* Be prepared to continue with the upkeep.

Or just plant a hummingbird garden, instead.


* Hummingbirds will starve rather than consume spoiled sugar water. ~ They will simply move on.

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* Discard any unconsumed or spoiled solution after a couple of days time, or if the water becomes cloudy.



* Every filling, flush the feeder with water and scrub around the ports and inside the feeder with a kitchen brush, small bottle brush or special feeder brush. I use my fingers on the inside of the feeder to get it squeaky clean and remove the slime that their little tongues leave on the inside of the feeder. Don't use soap, just water.



* Each time, visually inspect the entire feeder for black mold every time you fill it! If the mold and or debris will not come off with plain water and a good brushing, it is easily removed with a bleach soak.
  

* A bleach soak can be done on a regular basis, monthly or as needed.



** For a bleach soak, clean the feeder thoroughly with a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water.



* Soak for 1/2 hour, then clean with a kitchen, bottle or feeder brush. Rinse well, rubbing it with your fingers under running water and refill. I have found it is best to dry the feeder before refilling it, because the hummingbirds don't seem to like the freshly bleached feeders as well.



* Rinse WELL with running water and refill. As an extra precaution, dry the feeder throughly before refilling.



* If the birds are not emptying your feeder between fillings, just partially fill it.

4 x 4" Alcohol Ink on ceramic tile ~ Sold


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* If the sugar solution in your feeder turns cloudy, it's spoiled and needs to be replaced.



* If you get a lot of rain and the mixture gets diluted, you need to change it.


* If you see bugs in the water, you need to change it.

* When the temperature is over 80 degrees (F), clean and refill at least every other day.

* Over 90°F, it might spoil in one day, so in hot, humid weather, cleaning may need to be done daily.

If your feeders are looking dirty, it is time for
**a cleaning!







A bleach soak easily removes the black stuff (mold and debris) that can build up in the nooks and crannies, but if a through inspection and cleaning is done each time you fill your feeders, you may not need to do this step at all.


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Perfect Brushes for Hummingbird Feeders

Little Brushes for Little Places

I love these and always keep several around.






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5. Hummingbird Environments

Make your yard hummer friendly

* Plant vegetation that attracts hummingbirds ~ to provide natural nectar and attract the insects they feed on.

* Flowers they like are usually highly visible, with little fragrance.



* A hummer garden is also a great way to attract customers to your feeders!



* Don't use pesticides around hummingbird plants.



* Pesticides will also eliminate the small insects hummingbirds rely upon for protein.



* Ingesting nectar or bugs from sprayed flowers could sicken or kill the birds.



* Some Common Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds ~



Trees and Shrubs ~ * Azalea * Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) * Cape Honeysuckle * Mt. Laurel * Mimosa



Vines ~ * Coral Honeysuckle * Cypress Vine * Morning Glory * Trumpet Creeper



Flowers ~ * Bee Balm (Monarda) * Canna * Cardinal Flower * Columbine * Foxglove * Hosta * Yucca * Fuchsia * Impatiens * Petunia * Various Salvia species



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Feel free to email me at: Sandy@SandySandy.com 
with any questions or feedback you may have!




Wishing You Joy and Hummingbird Happiness,
X ♥  O

And My Little Sugar Sand Sweeties


The Humm of Summer 


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