Generally, they are desirable birds in gardens. In addition to being visually attractive, they allow pollination of many species of flowers. What happens is that, once a hummingbird approaches a flower to drink its nectar, some of the pollen from the stamens adheres to the bird’s body, and as it visits another flower to continue drinking, the transported grains can fall into the pistils. In this way the flower is pollinated.
But many people seem to like hummingbirds coming to their garden just for the pleasure of seeing them. If you too would like them to reach the surroundings of your home, you have to attract them with one of the best pleasures in life: food, of course. Feeding is a completely basic activity for their survival and they must do it daily to keep their metabolism fast and obtain the energy necessary to flap their wings at high speed.
There are two main options: planting showy flowering plants or setting up artificial feeders. For the first, you should take into account that most hummingbirds are attracted by relatively large flowers, some tubular and many with petals of intense colors that attract attention. These supply the nectar with the necessary amounts of sugars they need. Some plants that tend to attract hummingbirds are honeysuckle, azaleas, petunias, currants, balsamins and others with a tubular or trumpet shape. The scent of the flowers is not very important, since the birds are guided by their sense of sight. If you have the opportunity to know the scientific names of flowers, you should be interested inLobelia cardinalis, Lonicera sempervirens, Gladiolus cardinalus and those of the Fuchsia, Hamelia, Vismia and Hampea genera.
But planting flowers requires some time and work, and it may be easier to offer food with the help of an artificial feeder. On the market there are special containers to be filled with a sugar solution. At the base they have artificial flowers to attract hummingbirds, and there they insert their beaks. You can also make one out of a clean plastic container.
To make homemade nectar , mix 1 part white granulated sugar with 4 parts water. Then place the mixture over a fire to boil and in this way eliminate bacteria or fungi that would damage the health of the hummingbirds. Let the mixture cool and then fill the feeder. For no reason do you empty the hot nectar. Sugar must dissolve very well and it is very important to avoid adding more sugar, honey, artificial colors or sweeteners, since they are not necessary and honey offers a perfect breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and fungi. And while they consume a large proportion of sugars, the excess can damage your liver.
It’s actually a pretty straightforward recipe. There are some liquids on the market that are offered as food for hummingbirds, although they usually have artificial colors or preservatives, and perhaps the best thing is to make the nectar at home . It is important to place the feeder in an easy-to-see and partially sunny spot, about 4.5-6 meters from the windows. If you have flowers, take the opportunity to place it near them.
On the other hand, the artificial feeder requires care. Clean it at least once a week or every 4-5 days to prevent microorganisms from accumulating. You can use hot water, vinegar and a sponge to remove the residue, but never soap, since if not completely removed, it leaves a bad taste and could represent a danger to the health of the birds.
Bats, bees and ants often visit the feeders, attracted by the sugar. To avoid this, you can smear a little Vaseline on the plastic surface, and in the case of bats , store it at night and put it outdoors again during the day.
Feeders are believed to affect flower pollination as hummingbirds would prefer artificial nectar, but there should be no problem if they are not placed in large quantities.
What is the correct ratio of sugar to water for hummingbirds?
Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved. Do not add red dye. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside.
Do I need to boil sugar water for hummingbirds?
We always do boil the water to neutralize some impurities that might be in the water or sugar. … Using really hot water will usually suffice to dissolve the sugar. However, if you plan on making extra hummingbird sugar water to store in the fridge or you have so-so water quality, then it’s best to boil.
Do hummingbirds prefer homemade nectar?
Hummingbird feeders require liquid nectar. This nectar uses a specific formula that imitates natural nectar from flowers to provide wholesome nutrition for hummingbirds. Some birders prefer to mix up their own nectar at home, while others rely on a store-bought supply.
What is best hummingbird nectar?
There are many elements to consider when you are growing a community of hummingbirds. You need a few great hummingbird feeders, the right cleaning tools and techniques, and of course, some fantastic nectar. Here are our top ten picks for nectar mixes that will keep your little hummers happy, healthy, and coming back for more.
See also this reading blog: Best Hummingbird Nectar