By Kevin Dickey, Chapter President – Lakeland Audubon Society
I’ll admit it, that this year, I have definitely procrastinated when it comes to getting the sugar water feeders out for the hummingbirds. Today, I’m finally getting to it. I’m saying this because the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been spotted in our area for weeks now. A good website to help you keep track of hummingbird migration and other seasonal events in the natural world is Journey North. Please use the link below to view the map.
As a reminder, fill your hummingbird feeders with a 4:1 mix of water and sugar. That is 4 oz of water to 1 oz of sugar. What I do is add the sugar to a measuring cup and then fill with hot tap water. So if I want to make 16 oz of sugar water (Homemade Hummingbird Nectar) I add 4 oz of sugar to the cup and fill it with water to 16 oz. The hot water dissolves the sugar rather quickly (starts as you fill the cup). I then wait about 10 minuets and then stir the cup to make sure all the grains of sugar are dissolved.
You keep things safe and healthy for the birds by making sure your feeders are clean and the nectar you provide is fresh. One sure way to do this is to not make more nectar then will be consumed by the birds in four days time and clean your feeders with light soapy warm water every four or five days or every time you refill your feeders. If you do this, rinsing or soaking them in a bleach water solution is usually not necessary. For more information on this, follow the link below.