We love feeding and watching the birds in our backyard. Our birdbath and seed feeder have lots of guests all season long, but my absolute favorites are the hummingbirds.
Here in Sacramento we mostly see Anna’s Hummingbirds. They love to drink from my fuschias and the neighbor’s trumpetvine. Since the males like to fight over the flowers, I put a feeder right outside my kitchen window so they have an alternative dining area. This also gives them a constant food supply.
Hummingbird feeder solution is easy to make: 1 part plain white sugar to 4 parts water (e.g., 1 cup sugar with 4 cups water). Bring it to a boil to to kill any bacteria and allow it to cool completely before putting it into the feeder (I like this one).
Hummingbird Food Important Tips
- Keep the ratio exactly as listed. If you dilute the solution with more water, they’ll have to drink too much and won’t get enough nutrients.
- Only use plain white granulated sugar. Don’t use brown sugar, agave nectar, honey–which can kill hummers–or powdered sugar, which contains cornstarch.
- Don’t add any food coloring to the water. The feeder has plenty of color to attract them, and the birds can’t process all the chemicals in the food coloring.
- Not all hummers migrate! You can keep your feeder out all year as long as you keep it full and clean.
- Place your feeder out in the open, out of reach of Neighbor Kitty.
- If ants start invading the feeder, put some Vaseline in a ring on the pole or on the feeder itself. It’s like a giant oil slick that keeps them from the liquid.
- Change the solution and wash the feeder every 2-3 days, more often if it’s hot. Be sure and wash the feeder every time, even if they’ve drained it dry.
Our hummers love to drink from our feeder, and it’s great to watch them as I’m washing a pile of dirty dishes. It sure beats thinking about all the other chores that I’m not doing.
Sometimes I swear I can watch the water level go down as they sit there and slurp! Case in point: this little gal is so relaxed she’s sitting down to eat.