20 Sep 2010 by Greg C. Greer
Remember to change your hummingbird feeder nectar (sugar water) frequently! We are continuing to experience warm / hot temperatures and the sugar water spoils within a few days. Many hummer feeders are designed for the “American West”, where there are many species of hummers, thus the feeders are large capacity feeders. Here in the eastern U.S., with only the ruby-throated, the large capacity feeders are rarely emptied and thus the sugar water needs changing. It is extremely important to remove your feeder, every three days or so, empty the remaining contents, rinse the feeder in hot water, then refill with sugar water that you may be storing in the refrigerator (or make it as you need it) I do this very simple chore in the evening, so that the hummers in my yard don’t fly in to find “their” feeder missing. At night, while the hummers are on roost, I drain, rinse and refill my feeders, so at first light, the little dynamos with wings can come in to refuel. These birds are now moving as well so migrant ruby-throats will also show their appreciation by visiting your feeders.
A good mix for hummers: 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Use hot water in making the syrup as the sugar goes into solution much easier and if you use boiling water, it will also sterilize the container. Allow it to cool before filling your feeders so as not to burn the little bird’s tongues.
Keep your seed feeders filled as neotropical migrant birds are showing up at feeders.