We don't have any hummers in our area but I make home made wheat bread for our birds. We do have blackbirds (who like to soak their bread in the birdbath), Chickadees, Sparrows, and Robins. The Robins don't care for the bread but they do like raisins. We enjoy watching them.
The main thing is to keep their 'juice' fresh. Especially in hot weather.
In hot weather it needs changed OFTEN (every other day). Cooler days it will not sour as quickly (maybe 3-4 days)
We also keep their feeders cleaned with hot soapy water (make sure they are rinsed good)
and the little flower ports scrubbed with a small brush.
When we first started seeing hummingbirds here we only had a few, then every year it just keeps incresing.
The same birds will return to your area every year. Including the ones that hatched/fledged there.
We NEVER use store bought nectar. We make our own sugar water. 1 cup sugar per quart of water.
We add a drop or two of food coloring only for our benefit. It is not necessary. They will drink it clear.
We add because it makes it easier to see when the feeders are getting low.
During the peak of the season this year we had twelve (12) feeders hanging, and was refilling DAILY!
Sometimes it felt like that's all I got done in a day was wash bottles and feed birds! lol
But we get so much enjoyment out of them it is worth it!
We estimate how many birds we get by the amount of juice we go through.
Hummingbirds weigh approx. 1/8 oz. And they will eat anywhere from half (1/2) to eight (8) times its body weight a day.
On our peak feeding this year we were going through 2-2.5 gallons a day (288 oz)
[do the math on that one!]
I wonder what next year will be like!!! ((yikes))
We usually buy them at our local Farm Supply store for $12.99 but just recently found the same ones online
for an EXCELLENT price! (These are the only style feeders we use)
We've tried different styles but our birds seem to like these best (and the do NOT like plastic feeders)
Originally Posted by butterfly48
We usually do land office business as our hummingbird feeder but this year we only had a few. I don't know if it was the weather or what...
Originally Posted by Nan C
I loved watching the video, there are so many it looks like insects! and they all seem to get along. At the end here we had 5, all females, and boy did they fight. I never knew females would be so aggressive.
Very cool video! We have a few that come around and lost a few about a month ago, when we had a hailstorm. Some of our neighbors said they had dead birds in their yard. The birds have been making a comeback since then.
Never saw one here in WI this year. In WI there are 4 species, but mainly only 2 are commonly seen-the Ruby throated and the Rufous. And of those 2, the Rufous Hummingbird comes around every 3-5 years. Even the neighbors that have a yard of feeders have seen very few. Maybe it was the long dry heat of the season this year? It appears they are thriving across our border in Iowa!
Originally Posted by Nan C
I love the hummers but living in town I only see a couple at a time and this year didn't see any. I just got bees in our sugar water.
We have as many as you have in your video. We've only lived here two summers and both blessed us with swarms of the little fellows. My DH prepares the water and feeds them and he has a full-time job doing it. He goes through at least 4 4lb bags of sugar a week. They should be leaving soon, but our temps are still in the 90s.
We've seen a decline in the past week. I think most of "our" birds are gone and what we have now are 'transients' from further north passing through.
I know what you mean about a full time job!
And the sugar!! @ 2.29 for a 4lb. bag - at the end of the season it really adds up.
Last year we found sugar on sale for $1.59 a 4lb bag and REALLY stocked up!