Hummingbird Food

Not Only Red, Tubular Flowers Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds feed on all types and colors of flowers, not just red tubular ones. Many people mistakenly believe the common misconception that hummingbirds will feed only red tubular flowers. The purpose of this post will be to try and set the record straight regarding this issue.

When selecting a food source, the most important consideration to a hummingbird is the quantity and quality of the nectar source that is available. When selecting a particular flower, the hummingbird will select the flower with the highest nectar output and the richest concentration of sugars, regardless of the shape or color of the flower. Lastly, how the nectar taste is of far greater importance then the color of the flower.

Why not add a lot of color to your yard with a wide range of flowers that are known to attract hummingbirds? You will get the added benefit of having a colorful yard to look at and also increasing the likelihood of seeing the hummingbirds that you wish to attract to your yard.

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Facts About Hummingbirds and Winter

While having lunch today with a group of ladies from my church, we began having a discussion about hummingbirds and winter. This discussion let me know that many people are misinformed about hummingbirds in the winter. Because of my knowledge and love of hummingbirds, I was able to set the record straight concerning these common misconceptions regarding winter and hummingbirds. It is also what has inspired me to write today’s post and I hope that it will enlighten and entertain you.

The normal ratio that is recommended for making homemade nectar solution or sugar water is 4:1. This means four parts water to one part sugar. However, in the winter it is alright to change the ratio of your nectar or hummingbird solution to a ratio of 3:1. I make this point because many people are not aware of this and mistakenly believe that the ratio of nectar solution must always be 4:1. This simply is not true and by changing to a ratio of 3:1, you will be helping to retard the freezing of the nectar solution.

Many people also mistakenly believe that by leaving their hummingbird feeders up in winter that the hummingbirds will not migrate. It is the length of day or photoperiod is what signals to the hummingbird that it is time to migrate and this will occur regardless of whether or not your feeder remains up or not. In other words, the hummingbird will know instinctively when it is time to migrate and the feeder staying up will not stop this.

Many people also mistakenly believe that all hummingbirds must migrate, especially in the colder temperatures of winter. This is not true because not every species of hummingbird migrates. There are also those hummingbirds that are too weak or ill to make the migratory journey any longer or you could have a vagrant hummingbird in your area that is off the path of its journey. These hummingbirds will need to be fed, so it is important that they have a food source available on which to feed.

This is the common misconceptions my friends had about hummingbirds in the winter. If you yourself held any of these misconceptions, I hope that this post has served to inform you on this matter.

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How to Make a Hummingbird Feeder

Who says that a hummingbird feeder needs to be fancy and or expensive to effectively attract hummingbirds? It does not. This video tells you the exact materials you will need to construct this homemade feeder as well as gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own homemade hummingbird feeder. Why not give it a try?

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What is a Baby Hummingbird’s Diet?

I am constantly astounded by the constant discoveries about hummingbirds that I continue to make. This post is the direct result of one such discovery and it will discuss the diet of a baby hummingbird. I hope that you will find it as interesting as I myself did while doing the research for this post.

When a baby hummingbird is first born it is unable to eat nectar as an adult hummingbird would do. The mother hummingbird will feed on bugs and nectar which will then be regurgitated in the form of a slurry substance on which the baby hummingbirds are feed approximately every 20 minutes.

The mother hummingbird will signal to the baby hummingbirds that it is time to eat by landing on the nest which causes the babies to feel the wind from the mother’s wings and thus open their mouth. Using her beak the mother hummingbird will place the food (the slurry substance) inside the baby hummingbird’s mouth with the use of an up-and-down pumping motion.

If a baby hummingbird were fed only normal nectar this would cause harm to the baby hummingbird. The baby hummingbird would likely be severely crippled or even die, due to the fact the normal nectar lacks enough protein.

A baby hummingbird will begin to fly at about the age of three weeks. At this time, the mother hummingbird will accompany the young birds for a few more days to show the young where the best sources of nectar and bugs can be located. It is after this that the young birds are then left to live on their own.

Even though I have a large knowledge base on the subject of hummingbirds, I never want to stop learning about these amazing birds. I know I enjoy making these kinds of discoveries and it is my hope that you all will as well. This type of topic especially makes me think of my mom and our shared love of these birds, because I know she would have enjoyed making these same discoveries right along with each of you.

Hummingbird Food

Proper Storage of Hummingbird Nectar Solution

Whether you are an avid hummingbird enthusiast or if you are a new fan of hummingbird watching, it is important to be aware that your hummingbird feeders will need to be refilled quite frequently. With this in mind, you may wish to make a fairly large batch of homemade nectar solution ahead of time. Regardless of if you choose to make your own nectar solution or to buy it, you must know just how long it can be kept in the refrigerator and how to store it properly and safely.

Until you have some idea of the number of hummingbirds that will be frequenting your feeders, I would recommend making just enough nectar solution to refill your feeders at the given moment. This helps ensure that the solution is fresh at the time your feeders are replenished.

Once you have a better idea of the number of hummingbirds that will likely be visiting your feeders and with what amount of regularity this will likely occur, you may then decide to mix up a larger batch of nectar solution. This homemade nectar solution can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. It is important that the nectar solution be properly labeled to ensure that the contents of the container are clearly known to all.

In what type of container should any unused homemade nectar solution be stored? It has been my own experience that either empty milk containers or empty two liter soda bottles seem to work quite well. Another suggestion would be a glass canning jar with a tight fitting lid.

If you should choose to use packaged nectar solution rather then making your own, please be sure and follow the label’s own instructions concerning how to safely store it properly.

A final word of caution, regardless of if you make your own homemade nectar solution or you choose to use packaged nectar solution, if you have any doubt as to whether or not the solution is still safe or not please discard it as a precaution. If the mixture is discolored, foul-smelling or cloudy this would indicate that the mixture has spoiled and must be disposed of immediately.