Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures that you definitely would want to always have at your garden or backyard. There are several flower species that attract hummingbirds such as Bee Palm, Hollyhock, Lantana and Carolina jessamine. However you may not have these flowers and buying nutrient enhanced hummingbird nectar is rather expensive and may not necessarily benefit the birds. Remember, they obtain their nutrients from flower nectar and insects. What you are providing them with is just a snack. Additionally, you may want to hang the feeder strategically to observe the birds at your comfort. Here is a recipe for making simple hummingbird food.
1. White Granulated Sugar
2. Tap water
1. Put 4 portions of water into a pan and warm to expel any dissolved chlorine that could harm the birds.
2. Add one portion of sugar and stir until it completely dissolves.
3. Continue heating the solution until it boils. Keep boiling for about 2 minutes so as to slow down bacterial growth. Remember if you fail to do so, your food will not last for long. On the other hand, if you boil the solution, your food could last for up to two weeks
4. Stop heating the solution and allow it to cool.
Your hummingbird food is now ready to be added to a feeder. Since hummingbirds are territorial, you may consider having two feeders placed separately to attract more of the birds.
It is suggested that hummingbirds are better attracted to colored food. For this reason, some people prefer to add red food color to the solution. However, research has disclosed that adding color to hummingbird food has the potential to harm them. Source: http://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/food/
Balancing between the safety of the birds and the need to attract them is essential. All you need is a red feeder, and you will have all the hummingbirds coming to feed on your solution. If you do not have a red feeder, do not worry either. You can still attract the birds by tying a red ribbon on the feeder that you use.
Replace the food in the feeder regularly
Remember that hummingbirds will not be attracted to food that is not fresh. As such, you need to check the food in the feeder frequently and replace it with the fresh one if you notice signs of growing mold. Black specks in the hummingbird food are indicative of growing mold. Similarly, if the food in the feeder starts getting cloudy, this is a sign of spoilage. You need to replace it.
Keep the feeder clean
Before replacing the nectar, make sure you clean the feeder with hot water. Avoid using soap because the smell of soap has the potential to keep away hummingbirds from your feeder.
Keep the food fresh for a long time
The rate at which the food gets spoilt varies with the surrounding temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the rate of spoilage. To slow down the rate of fermentation and spoilage, you should hang the hummingbird feeder in a shady place.
Hummingbird food should be stored in a refrigerator. If stored at room temperature, the food will not last for long. You will incur expense and waste time preparing it every two days.