Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wild Bird Questions: Hummingbirds

What feeders work the best to attract hummingbirds? What should be placed in these feeders? What food should be avoided? How often should the hummingbird food be changed?
Feeders that work to attract hummingbirds the best are those that are made with lots of red colored parts, as hummingbirds associate the color red with their natural food, nectar, that they get from flowers. So, the brighter red a feeder is, the better it will work at attracting hummingbirds.

Sugar water, whether sold as hummingbird nectar or made at home should be placed in these feeders. The advantage of the prepackaged hummingbird nectar is that it will, in many cases, include other ingredients, such as vitamins, to give a more balanced diet than just plain sugar water would.

The food that should be avoided in hummingbird feeders are the mixtures that have been colored red. Although the color attracts the hummingbirds, it also means that the red dye must be broke down constantly by the birds internal organs which can cause damage over time. It is best to use a clear solution and have the feeder itself be red. Hummingbird food should be changed at least every other day in cooler weather and everyday in hot weather or the food will go bad. Hummingbirds will not go to feeders if the food is not fresh.

1 comment:

jessica said...

how interesting!