Friday, May 6, 2011

Hungry Hummingbirds

Today here's a quick tip for all you hummingbird caretakers out there.

We love white Ocean Spray Cranberry juice. It is delicious and comes in just the right size jug to make and store nectar in. If you are lucky, you may be able to enlist a helper or two. Here Inspector Tommy keeps a watchful eye and makes sure that I am doing things correctly.

Wash the container thoroughly after you finish the juice and take the label off. (So you don't go in there and pour yourself a huge glass of sugar water, thinking it's juice.)

Each jug holds exactly 7 1/2 cups of liquid. So, at a four parts water to one part sugar, just add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to the bottle (I use a 1/2 c. scoop and a funnel). Get your tap water as hot as you can and fill the jug almost to the top and shake, shake shake.  No heating necessary!! Honest! (Let it cool before filling feeders.)

The nectar will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Because the Ocean Spray bottles are square, they fit nicely.

The hummingbirds love cold nectar in the hot weather and mixing it up ahead of time also makes your job much easier. Right now I've only got one bottle made up, but later in the season, as the activity picks up, I will make gallons at a time. Here's what my refrigerator looked like last summer.