Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Hummingbirds will come eagerly to feeders stocked with sugar water. Once found, they will learn to seek out this rich food even if the location or appearance of the feeder is changed.

The tried and true formula for hummingbird food is simple: about one part white granulated sugar to four parts water. Boil the water for approximately 2 minutes, add the sugar, and stir to dissolve thoroughly. Cover and allow to cool before using or pouring into a clean storage bottle. We do not recommend adding red dye to the nectar mixture. 

A large batch of nectar can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This makes refilling the feeder easy so you won't mind doing it every few days.

You must change the nectar frequently - at least twice a week. The need to change the nectar depends on the temperatures, where the feeder is hung, and number and frequency of hummingbirds feeding at your feeder. If the birds are not emptying your feeder between cleanings, it's unnecessary and wasteful to fill it completely. Fill only with the amount of nectar they will consume in a few days. Over time you will get a feel for how much nectar to put in the feeder. If you notice that the nectar is turning milky, or that white strings or black spots are growing in it, change it more often.

In order to be a responsible host, you must keep your feeder clean and full of fresh nectar. Every four or five days take down your feeder and discard any unconsumed sugar water. Take apart your feeder and flush with hot tap water – a little vinegar can be added to the water to help prevent mold from becoming established. Visually inspect the feeder for black mold. If mold is present, place all parts in dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. A pipe cleaner or small brush will be needed to pre-clean the stainless steel tubes of the bottom-fill feeders prior to placing in the dishwasher or when washing the feeder parts by hand.

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