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.