Hummingbird feeder basics

It's that time of the year when hummingbirds will start visiting your yard. Each year they return to your yard from their winter home in Mexico, Panama or deep south Florida. And when they do come .....out will come the hummingbird feeders.

Keeping your feeder filled and clean is just simple basics.

1) Make your own syrup by using 1/4 sugar to 4 parts water. Boil mixture to prevent bacteria from forming in your mixture. Boiling for a minute will be enough time to remove the bacteria while keeping your mixture thin and clear. Cool, fill your feeder and place the remaining mixture in your refrigerator for later use.

2) Keep your feeder clean by washing it with a very small amount of dish soap and rinsing it with a small amount of vinegar or vinegar water followed by a cool water rinse.

I keep two are more feeders so I have one to fill while waiting for the one I am washing to dry. And in the Fall as the hummingbirds head South for the Winter I keep two out so they can build up body fuel for their long trip.

3) Stick to the sugar mixture rule. Do not use red dye, fruit juice or honey to make your mixture. Most often your mixture will ferment more quickly and none of these are particularly good for the hummingbirds. If you feel the need to have a red coloured mixture in your feeder - buy a feeder that has a red coloured glass as shown in the above photo.

4) Change your feeder before it is empty and every few days when it is hot weather.

Enjoy your time with the hummingbirds for Spring and Summer will go by fast and before you know will be Winter and the seed feeders will be out.

Most likely you will be visited by the ruby throated hummingbird, but you may find some other visitors.