Hummingbirds have excellent
eyesight and have great fidelity to established feeding stops
migration route. Attracting
hummers to your yard will require a bright splash of color. This
can be accomplished by selective plantings or by artificial means
such as surveyor's ribbon or silk flowers. These methods will
attract the hummers to your yard making it easier for them to
find your feeders. See the list of the HBSG favorite
plants for hummers.
Caring For Feeders
Food - Older
literature indicates that hummingbirds primarily feed on flowers
and your feeders for the sugar water (nectar). However, more
recent observational studies strongly suggest they also feed
on small soft-bodied insects in much the same manner as flycatchers
do. We believe that perhaps one-half of their diet is made up
of small arthropods such as fruit flies, gnats, mosquitoes, aphids,
and insect eggs.
Hummers are capable of living
for extended periods without nectar as a component of
diet. They can quickly convert
fat reserves and recently ingested arthropods to energy when
deprived of nectar. Foraging is done by "hawking" from
an exposed perch, gleaning bark and leaves and robbing sapsucker
wells. The ratio for your feeder is one
part sugar to four parts water.
Please NO food
coloring. It is not necessary to buy ready-made nectar because
get all the vitamins, minerals and proteins they need from
the natural nectar and insects they eat. If the hummers are
not emptying your feeders, just partially fill them. Definitely, NO honey
or artificial sweeteners in the feeders, this may be harmful
to the birds.
Cleaning - Flush
the feeders every week with hot tap water and clean with
a bottle brush, rinse. Do not
use soap. At least once a month, clean the feeders thoroughly
a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water, let it set
in this solution for about an hour then if necessary clean
with a bottle brush.
Almost all feeders can be
dismantled for easier cleaning. Rinse well with running
let the feeders air-dry
completely before refilling. This can be done at night and
refilled the next morning so you don't disrupt the feeding
of the birds. When the temperature is over 80°F, change
your feeder solution every 3 to 4 days, flushing the feeders
with hot tap water and a bottle brush. We recommend clear
glass or plastic feeders so you can keep track of the amount
of sugar water and its condition.
Dealing with Pests
a pipe cleaner in vegetable oil and wrap it around the wire from
which the feeder hangs.
Ants will not cross the oil. Re-oil occasionally.
Ant traps: A
cup that holds water from which you hang the feeder. This
makes a water barrier the ants will not cross.
Yellow Jacket, Wasp and Hornet Trap: A plastic
jar with special ports that is baited. It is an excellent
way to reduce the numbers of these pests at your feeders
and in your yard. See