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CREATE AND INSPIRE
Author: Emily Clayton
Nothing compares to the sight of hummingbirds at a feeder. Brilliant flashes, incredible wing movements, and feisty chases are just some of the many delights to observe. Whether watching indoors or casually strolling by, you cannot help but marvel at these tiny creatures. So now that you have fallen in love, what is the best way to attract hummingbirds of your own?
Purchase the Feeder
A good-quality feeder is vital to capturing a hummingbird’s interest and keeping the nectar clean and healthy. Make sure you look for a feeder with a clear glass bottle because glass is more durable than plastic in warm weather.
Plastic bottles can also split easily, and they might leach materials into the liquid and taint the food supply over time. However, plastic bases and feeding ports work fine, provided there are no loose-fitting parts.
Move on to another brand if you see any sections are warped or cracked, and do not purchase feeders with questionable bases. Undoubtedly, you risk sudden leaks, sticky messes, and hungry hummingbirds later.
Feed Those Hungry Tummies
Although many products are available, commercially produced nectar may contain hidden ingredients. In addition, red dye or red food coloring is a potential danger to the health of your new hummingbird friends.
Why risk harming your flying jewels when homemade hummingbird nectar is safe and easy to make? And instead of adding red dye to your homemade food, you can plant red-flowered flowers and shrubs.
Native flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and other beneficial pollinators, and they will further increase the interest of passersby. Several potted plants with bright red, pink, or purple tones are also excellent options.
Find the Correct Ratio
To make your own hummingbird nectar, use water and white granulated sugar or raw cane sugar. Nothing else. A 1:4 ratio, one part sugar and four parts water, is the closest match to wildflower nectar. Please remember that deviating from this ratio may lead to digestion discomfort or even organ damage from too much dissolved sugar.
Also, ensure that you thoroughly clean the entire feeder at least once a week; don’t forget to dump any remaining liquid because it may have spoiled. A midweek cleaning or nectar fill-up is often necessary during hot weather or increased bird activity.
Enjoy the Local Wildlife
Around Sacramento, common hummingbird species include Anna’s and Black-chinned. Anna’s hummingbirds can be year-round residents, making them the most common species throughout the region. They are also feisty and fierce defenders of a choice feeder.
Black-chinned hummingbirds are moderately common in spring and summer when they migrate into the area from further south. Smaller than the Anna’s, the Black-chinned hummingbirds have a buzzier wing beat and tend to be more vocal when drinking nectar at the feeder.
Rufous hummingbirds, on the other hand, are typically viewed only during migration for a few brief but magical days. So catch them on their early travels, and enjoy their coppery tones.
Are you starry-eyed yet? You, too, can enjoy watching hummingbirds in your yard by giving these buzzing beauties nourishment from dye-free homemade nectar and red-colored native plants.