Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making Your Own Hummingbird Food

Hummingbirds are wonderful birds to attract to your yard or garden.  There are different methods to attract hummingbirds that can help to bring them to your feeder.  The fascination that we have for these small beautiful birds is seen throughout spoken history.  There are many Native American tribes that have stories about hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are delightful to watch.  There are several reasons for our fascination with these birds. Hummingbirds are such tiny little creatures, and the swiftness of their wings is amazing in and of itself.   



Nectar for Hummingbirds


A great many people want to draw these beautiful tiny birds to their home.  One of the best ways to do this is by feeding them.  Hummingbirds love nectar and it is easy to make.  To make hummingbird food use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  An example would be 1 cup of sugar added to 4 cups of water.  Mix well and place in feeders where you want to see the hummingbirds.  Never mix coloring with the nectar, as this is not good for the birds.  Once the ingredients have been mixed heat them on the stove until the sugar is dissolved in the water.  Let cool completely before placing in a hummingbird feeder.  You should never use honey, artificial sweeteners, or food coloring when making nectar.  These may be harmful to the birds.  The nectar for the hummingbirds should be changed about every four days. Change it more often if you see problems such as mold.  Always clean the nectar well from the feeders before replacing with new nectar.


Other Foods for Hummingbirds


These birds need more than nectar to survive.  Hummingbirds eat flies to get the protein that is necessary for their health.  They catch the flies with their curved beaks in the air.  They do this while hovering in one spot.  Flowers are another item that these birds love.  You can grow a hummingbird garden to attract them to your home.  The types of flowers that are best for your hummingbird garden are ones that have vibrant colors.  They seem to love these best.  Examples are trumpet vines, honeysuckles, delphiniums, and many more.  The best way to determine the flowers that you want to use in your hummingbird garden is to check with local bird groups or the Audubon Society for the flowers that will grow best in your area and climate.  Hummingbirds love to hover over these flowers and draw the nectar from them.  Be sure to place some benches in the garden so that you may enjoy watching them feed.


A lot of people have a fascination for small creatures and the hummingbird is one of nature’s great treasures.  In the past these birds were prized and hunted for their feathers.  Hummingbirds are protected today but their habitats are not.  Pollution, destruction of their natural habitat, pesticides and poisons are taking their toll on these beautiful birds. By feeding them you are also helping these birds.  It is everyone’s responsibility to continue their efforts to protect these wonderful birds.



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