Depending on where you live, it will likely soon be time for the arrival of the hummingbirds if they have not already begun arriving already. Regardless of what the calender marks as the official arrival of spring, it is not officially spring for me until I have seen my first hummingbird of the season. My fellow hummingbird enthusiast, don’t you also find that to be true?
With that in mind, it is time to start thinking about getting out your hummingbird feeders and begin preparing them for the arrival of the hummingbirds. That is why today’s post will remind everyone of the importance of proper hummingbird feeder maintenance.
If your feeders are made of plastic and have experienced a great deal of exposure to the sun or if there are missing or broken parts, you may wish to consider replacing them with new ones. This will help ensure that the feeder is far less likely to leak or that you might have a problem with bees getting to the nectar solution due to any missing “bee guards.”
Even though it may seem extremely obvious, I feel that it is worth repeating to remind everyone that hummingbird nectar solution is extremely susceptible to fermentation, mold, or harmful bacteria. All of these things can put the health and lives of the hummingbirds in danger, and this is something that should be avoided.
Due to the risk of fermentation, mold and bacteria your hummingbird feeders should be cleaned very often. Just how often? In extremely hot temperatures, every two to three days. If you have any doubt that the solution is still good, it should then be changed as a safety measure.
What is considered to be very hot weather? That would be when the temperature reaches above 60 degrees F., feeders should be cleaned every two to three days and then fresh sugar solution should be added.
To clean the feeder, you can do the following: wash the feeder in very hot water, to wish you may add some vinegar or even a tiny amount of Clorox. These things will help remove mold and kill bacteria. Please be sure and rinse the feeder out thoroughly when you are finished! Any hard to reach places on the hummingbird feeder can be cleaned with the aid of a bottle brush or pipe cleaners. It is also fine to place your hummingbird feeders in the dishwasher and let them run through its cleaning cycle.
It is impossible to state a specific date by which hummingbird feeders should be up. That will vary greatly depending on where you live. When you should hang up your feeders will also depend largely on which hummingbird species are common where you live.
With arrival of spring, we hummingbird enthusiast eagerly anticipate the arrival of the hummingbirds. Let’s get ready for them by being reminded of the utmost importance of proper hummingbird feeder maintenance. After all, none of us wants to cause harm to the birds that we so admire and enjoy.