Tuesday, May 11, 2010

They're Back!

Our hummingbirds are back in full force demanding that I keep their feeders full at all times. They zip past your head as you fill the bottle, anxiously awaiting that delicious nectar. If I bought the red colored concentrate at the store, I'd have to get a bank loan to finance the summer's buffet. They can drink a 40 ounce feeder in one day!
If you go to BackYardBird.com , they give easy directions for making up your own hummingbird nectar. The commercially made nectar is colored with red dye, unnecessary and actually harmful to hummingbirds. To make your own, all you need is plain white sugar and water. The following recipe is easy to make and very inexpensive:

* Use ONE part white cane sugar to FOUR parts water. (That's 1 cup sugar, 4 cups water)

* Boil some water for several minutes BEFORE MEASURING. Boiling the water helps retard spoiling. It is important to boil the water before you measure it because some water evaporates during boiling and will ruin the 1:4 ratio. (I start with 4 1/4 cups water to 1 cup sugar)

* Measure out your water in the amount you have decided to make (for example, 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water will make 4 cups of nectar). (You can make a double batch and store in a juice container.)

* Stir the white sugar into the water while the water is still hot.

* Let the mixture cool completely before filling the feeder.

* Any unused nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

*Very important to keep everything sterile, birds get sick from a moldy feeder. Clean the feeders with bleach water (10:1 ratio)

"We all have preconceived ideas about what hummingbirds' lives are like, but so much of their world is imperceptible to the human eye. Filmmaker Ann Prum describes the breakthrough science and latest technologies that allowed her and the crew to reveal incredible new insights about these aerial athletes."

"Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air" is part of the 28th season of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning series produced by WNET.ORG for PBS. Major support provided by Canon U.S.A. Inc.


  1. Ours are back too - - - funny how they ALWAYS come back on Mother's Day weekend - - - Fisherhubby saw the first one on Saturday.

    He makes his own juice in a 1:4 ratio too - - - but he no longer bothers to heat the water. Just mixes the sugar into cold water and pours it in the feeder. Has been doing it that way for years - - - and those hummers keep returning. It saves all that boiling and cooling.

  2. ~my sister has a whole tribe...us none : ( they are so beautiful and i want to create a little oasis for them to come and visit. we picked up to glass blown feeders last year on clearance and have plans for getting them hung this week as mr. sun is out shining bright for the next few days...thanks for the info!! warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  3. Hello Joycee, I miss hummingbirds..we don't see a lot of them here in Kansas. Up in the mountains of British Columbia we had so many of them that it was hard to keep the feeder full! I'm going to get another feeder this year and try again here in Kansas...maybe I can coax one to stop on it's migration if they don't like living here on the prairies. Great video! I hope the storms didn't hit you yesterday. Have a wonderful day...Maura:)

  4. Beautiful! I haven't seen ours yet. It is still a little cold here in West Virginia. They usually start arriving around the 20th of the month.

    I have found a dead hummingbird on my front porch where I had the feeder at one time. They will fight until the death of another which is what happened to that one.

  5. Like Maura said, we don't have many here in Ks but some years I'll have a couple show up...if I plant plenty of red flowers it seems to help!!! I'm smiling over here in Ks...can you see it over there in Mo? Have a good day, friend!!

  6. I am so worried about my crew! They haven't showed up! They always arrive in April......
    I keep putting fresh water out in hopes.......

  7. I don't ever put out feeders... very close neighbors with to many cats, seems cruel really.

  8. Hummingbirds are so interesting to study - they are an amazing bird! sandie

  9. They are so pretty! I never see any here. They are strong little birds for sure.

  10. I had many hummingbirds when in Maine I grew a variety of flowers that attract them along with feeders.
    I soon will move to a house here in Texas and start a new ritual, can't wait.

    My friend in California has an outdoor chandelier hanging in a protected area. Last weekend she discovered a hummingbird had built a nest in it and was sitting on her eggs. What a delight!

  11. Are you serious? You're feeding the birds! COOL....

  12. I'm a little worried that our hummers are late in arriving here in NJ... just a little late so far.


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