Keep the hummingbirds healthy and happy by providing the best environment, properly prepared suagar water, and feeders that let them rest while they dine.
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Hummingbirds are one of my favourite garden visitors each year. They are wild, aggressive, playful, and curious all at once. This one fell in love with our cat!
If you are going to feed hummingbirds (or any wild life), be sure you know what is best for them and how to keep it safe. Moldy or incorrectly prepared sugar water can kill the birds and you may never know it because they get ill and die elsewhere.
Wild bird care requires regular upkeep. If you are going to be away from home or unable to wash your feeders and clean your bird baths every few days, put them away until you return. The birds are better off that way.
Recipe for Hummingbird Sugar Water
- Only use white granulated sugar when preparing sugar water for hummingbirds.
- Never use brown sugar, honey, powders, or food colours in hummer feeders. They cause a range of problems including rapid bacteria and fungi growth and the potential spread of disease.
- Prepare a sugar solution with 1 part white granulated sugar and 4 parts water (e.g. 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water).
- Boil until the sugar dissolves, and allow to cool before adding it to your feeder.
Alternately, you can first boil the water for 5 minutes and then dissolve the sugar in it while it is still hot.
- Keep unused sugar water in the fridge.
- Change sugar water and clean feeders regularly (every few days—more often if it’s hot out).
This post explains how to properly clean and care for bird feeders.
How to Choose a Hummingbird Feeder
Look for a feeder that:
- Offers a resting perch while drinking so they don’t have to waste energy hovering.
- Pick a feeder that will be easy to clean. You’ll want to be able to get a bottle scrubber in all of the parts to ensure the feeder is kept mold-free.
I use this style of hummingbird feeder in my garden. It’s easy to take apart and access every part for cleaning. You can see it here at Amazon.
There are several websites that track hummingbird migrations in North America each year.
I like checking in so I know when to expect them in my area.
I hope you enjoy feeding these wonderful birds as much as I do. If you’re a super fan, try taking my Hummingbird Quiz.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
PS: Here’s an easy way to make your own bird feeders: DIY Water Bottle Bird Feeders.