It’s just so darn hot outside and the only time we can venture out without coming back inside soaking wet from sweating is either before 7 and then it’s already upper 70’s and even 80! I have to bribe my sweet Brownie with dogie treats and toys just so she doesn’t bug me about taking our walk before 7:30-8 p.m..
But as hot as it is for us and our pets it’s worse on our visitor’s the hummingbirds. In this part of Texas they start migrating here around April and usually you will see the last bird around the second week of Fall. Do you have tiny visitors coming to your home for some sweet nectar for energy and nourishment? If you do or would like to get a feeder or two, I have some information that would be helpful to keeping them healthy and safe from bacteria issues.
Hummingbirds are hardy little guys but like us their food can become tainted with bacteria growth in their feeders. Here are some helpful hints for preparing the necture and cleaning their feeders.
1. Wash the feeders in hot soapy water and thoroughly clean even the tiniest of crevices such as the feeder spouts. Once washed rinse in hot water with an added 1/2 cup of vinegar. This will not only remove soap residue but also sanitize the feeder parts. If you find any kind of residue in the feeder add some rice along with the soapy water and shake till clean. The rice acts as a scrubber and is very effective.
2. Whether you make your own nectar or purchase at the store go ahead and make a fresh batch. I will let you in on a factor to these store bought nectar. Never by one with red dye! This is actually harmful to their little systems. So clear is much better and if you think you need the red dye added you really don’t to attract them as the feeder will do that for you.
3. One last tip to pass on. Depending on your hummingbird population you should not fill the feeder to capacity especially in our extremely hot weather. When it’s a pleasant temperature outside you don’t need to change out the food often. When the heat begins to increase the nectar should be replaced every 2 to 3 days to keep down the risk of fermentation of the sugar water/nectar.
Making your own Hummingbird nectar:
Mix together in a small saucepan 4 parts water to 1 part white sugar. On medium heat bring mixture to a boil. Stir and continue to boil for 1 to 2 minutes then remove from heat a let cool before pouring into feeder. What ever is not used place into a clear glass jar with lid and refrigerate. *Note: Never use honey, artificial sweeteners or red dye such as food coloring.