1 Pour 1 part white sugar into microwavable container or saucepan.
2 Add 4 parts water; stir.
3 Heat in microwave (about 5 minutes on high power) or on stove top just to boiling and sugar is dissolved.
4 Allow liquid to cool completely before filling clean feeders.
Nectar can be stored in refrigerator for 1 week.
Keep feeders filled with fresh nectar as fermented and cloudy nectar can be harmful.
There is no need to add red dye to the nectar to attract hummingbirds and may be harmful to the birds.
Hummingbirds feed 5-8 times an hour
When to set out the feeders:
I live in zone 6b (southern New Jersey) and we have the Ruby Throat-ed Hummingbirds. I set my feeders out April 1st each year and have seen hummers at the feeder as early as April 8th. To check the arrival date of Ruby-throated hummingbirds where you live, visit Hummingbirds.net for a map of 2014 migration.
As the end of the season begins approaching, around late August, we notice many more hummers and they begin looking chubby as they beef-up for the up-coming southern migration. I have read to keep feeders up, clean and filled at least two weeks after you see your last hummingbird in order to help stragglers. I have seen hummingbirds, although infrequent, as late as October.
- Once or twice each week, bring the feeders to the kitchen sink
- Open (each is a little different in design) and pour out and remaining nectar.
- Rinse under running water and using an old toothbrush or small bottle brush, wash/scrub away all traces of mold and dirt. Do not use soap.
- Flush well with water.
- Refill with cool, fresh nectar
- Reassemble feeder container and hang again
In addition to nectar from a feeder, hummingbirds eat tiny insects and visit tubular-shaped flowers, using their long, tapered bill to obtain nectar from the center.
It won’t be too much longer and our visitors will begin their long trek southward.
But I will be waiting for them again next spring!